New Japan Pro Wrestling returns to Long Beach, California tonight for Strong Style Evolved, a one-night event featuring some of the top stars of both NJPW and ROH. ProWrestling.com will be providing exclusive live coverage throughout the event. Below is everything you need to know about tonight’s broadcast…
WHEN DOES IT AIR?
8:00 p.m. ET. / 7:00 p.m. CT / 5:00 p.m. PT
HOW DO I WATCH?
In the United States the show will air live on AXS. If AXS is not a part of your regular television package but you’re still interested in checking out the show, both Sling TV and DirecTV Now include the network and have free 7-Day trials.
Outside of the U.S. the show will air live on New Japan World. You can subscribe at njpwworld.com for less than $9 per month.
WILL THERE BE ENGLISH COMMENTARY?
Yes. WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and Josh Barnett will be live in Long Beach providing English commentary throughout the show.
WHAT’S ON THE CARD?
You can find the final match card at this link.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY TAG MATCHES?
This is a pretty standard card for a minor NJPW event. The company does not produce what American viewers would consider a “traditional” weekly television series, so a big part of every show is building up the next stop. For instance, part of Strong Style Evolved is dedicated to hyping up Sakura Genesis on April 1st, and part of that show will start the build towards Wrestling Dontaku in early May. This also makes their major shows like Wrestle Kingdom and Dominion feel extra special because a 4-5 hour show filled with title matches doesn’t happen every month like it does in WWE.
WHAT HAPPENED TO REY MYSTERIO?
Rey was unfortunately pulled from the show because of a legitimate biceps injury. He was scheduled to face Jushin Thunder Liger in a dream match of perhaps the two best junior heavyweight wrestlers from the last generation. Liger will instead face IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay in a non-title match.
WHAT’S GOING TO STEAL THE SHOW?
Any time Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi or the Young Bucks are on the card they’re a safe bet to have the show-stealing performance. The fact that they’re all in the ring together for the first time seems like a no-brainer that they’ll have the best match of the night. There are several potential sleepers though. I expect the top half of the card to all have excellent matches.
IS THERE A STORY TO JAY WHITE vs. HANGMAN PAGE?
On January 28th Jay White defeated Kenny Omega to become the new IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion. Hangman Page came out to respectfully issue a challenge to the new champion, as is tradition, but an emotional Omega more or less ruined his moment. Cody Rhodes took advantage of the moment by attacking Kenny and using Page’s bitterness to turn him against the Bullet Club leader, effectively drawing a line in the sand between all faction members. It was the linchpin moment that started everything. Here, in one small corner of the story, Hangman finally gets the title match he rightfully asked for two months ago; this time, with nobody to get in his way.