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THE FUTURE OF NEW JAPAN AND WOW ON AXS TV

By Mike Johnson on 2019-09-11 12:00:00

With Anthem having taken over the majority ownership in AXS TV, we have been besieged with questions about the future of WOW and New Japan Pro Wrestling on the cable network.

It should be noted that sources within Impact Wrestling have noted that no decisions have been made at this time and going forward, everything will continue on as they have been.  However, at some point, decisions will have to be made and there has been extreme cost-cutting across the board already at AXS TV's offices across the United States.  This is normal when one company absorbs another, as sad as it is, and there are likely more to come after over 40 employees were let go from offices in Los Angeles (the corporate HQ), Dallas (where a lot of day to day work was done) and Denver, which is extremely important to pro wrestling fans as that studio was where the nuts and bolts of the New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV show was put together.

We are told the Denver office was extremely gutted and as of now, there's no real understanding from the New Japan side yet on how things will be proceeding.  Currently, New Japan has a deal through January 2020 with AXS TV.  The process before the takeover was that New Japan would send over their tapes, which were edited live as NJPW produced their live events.  AXS TV would do some minor editing with additional voiceover work by Kevin Kelly to fit the American broadcasts.  Currently, there are several weeks of shows in the can from Royal Quest.  New episodes from the Destruction Tour would technically be next, but those episodes, according to a source formerly with AXS, have not yet been put together for American consumption. 

Nothing is set in stone yet, but It's entirely possible that the NJPW on AXS TV shows, as part of a cost-cutting maneuver, could now be post-produced by Impact's production team or that AXS could go into New Japan repeats as everything is sorted out.  We are told that the announcing teams for New Japan on AXS are not signed to AXS, so technically, Anthem could even have their own Impact Wrestling announcers voicing over any new content that is released.

In the case of WOW, they have 13 episodes in the can for the first half of the current season.  Those will air as scheduled.  WOW is slated to begin taping episodes for the second half of their season with those episodes slated to begin airing in January.  So, at the very least, WOW will be on the air as scheduled through the end of the year, and hopefully, longer after that.

Impact Wrestling will migrate over to AXS once that transition from The Pursuit Channel to AXS TV has been formalized.

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