Despite turning down an initial deal, New Japan Pro-Wrestling is still in talks with AXS TV about returning to their airwaves.
According to a new report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there are still “significant talks” involving New Japan returning to AXS television in the United States. It was noted that AXS wants the NJPW programming back, and it would likely see more collaboration between New Japan and IMPACT Wrestling. It was said that there’s no agreement in place for a return right now, but the talks are serious enough that the odds are a deal will be reached.
It’s worth noting that AXS has been showing more archive footage involving NJPW talent, and Juice Robinson & David Finlay just debuted as regulars on IMPACT this week. New Japan recently turned down a previous offer from AXS and elected to work with Roku in the United States and United Kingdom.
Meltzer previously reported that NJPW turned down the first deal due to feeling that Roku was a better strategy for them, as they didn’t want to be exclusive to AXS and risk losing an opportunity to expand elsewhere down the line.
NJPW issued the following statement on February 4 in regards to their new broadcast deal with Roku:
“Our fans in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are among our most loyal, and they have been very clear that they want NJPW’s content made available to them,” said Takami Ohbari, President of NJPW. “NJPW is unlike any other pro-wrestling in the world. It is the most athletic, sports-oriented pro-wrestling on the planet, and we are excited to bring our athletes and matches to these markets in such a major way. Thank you to The Roku Channel, and we look forward to a successful partnership that brings NJPW to millions of new fans around the world.”