Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Official - The First GFW Branded Event Will Be an American Broadcast of WrestleKingdom

The first big American wrestling event of 2015 will actually be Japanese
Graphics Credit: Global Force's Website
Via Global Force Wrestling's site

Global Force Wrestling announced today that its first ever branded event will actually come from one of its most prominent partner promotions. New Japan Pro Wrestling's WrestleKingdom 9, the biggest event on the promotion's calendar, will get American pay-per-view distribution through Jeff Jarrett's new promotion on January 4, 2015. The event will not air live in the States; it will run on a tape delay due to the time and date differences between Japan and the US. The delay will allow GFW to edit the event into a four-hour run time window. Also announced, the broadcast feeds will be available in both English and Japanese, the latter through SAP technology. All the major cable and satellite providers in North America will be carrying the event.

New Japan is arguably the second biggest wrestling company in the world, and it has a sizable following in the United States. Hitching the wagon to an established name, especially one whose founder is in the WWE Hall of Fame, is a good idea for Jarrett and his new company, which I'm not certain will be a company as much as a governing body. My guess is more information as to the identity and MO of GFW will be revealed at WrestleKingdom, especially since this feels like the launch of its brand. Everything still feels so nebulous, but at least the company is hitting the ground running with an established promotion backing it up.

As for the event itself, the main event will pit current IWGP Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi against the winner of the G-1 Climax Tournament, Kazuchika Okada. For those even less familiar with NJPW than I am, those two are the fed's equivalent to Ric Flair and Sting, the John Cena and Edge, or the Steve Austin and The Rock. Other contracted names you might want to know or whom you may already recognize are AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Shelton Benjamin, Doc Gallows, Tomohiro Ishii, Katsuyori Shibata, Tetsuya Naito, Jushin Liger, Alex Shelley, and Yoshi Tatsu, just to name a few. Jarrett also is a satellite member of the roster as part of the nefarious gaijin stable known as the Bullet Club. Not only will WrestleKingdom provide an entry onto the ground floor of GFW, you might find it a good place to start following NJPW as well.