WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri spoke with AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon on a media conference call on Monday to ask questions about the network broadcasting New Japan Pro Wrestling's first-ever G1 Special in the United States on Saturday, July 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM ET from the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.
When asked if there has been talk of doing more New Japan live events this year or if it's just a wait and see depending on how the G1 Special goes, Simon responded, "We are doing this event live and we're going to see the reaction from the fans and media."
Simon said they'll analyze how people tune in and make sure it's the success they all believe it will be. He said if New Japan comes back to the United States, there is "no doubt" AXS will be interested in doing more events with them.
Raj asked Simon if the production for NJPW's G-1 special on AXS will be different from the shows they do in Japan and what level of input AXS will have in producing the shows.
"The production will be a bit different than Japan. We are actually doing the production," Simon said. "We'll have our own TV production truck, our people that work on the Mixed Martial Arts side with input from the New Japan folks that will also be there with some of their camera people and we'll have a joint team putting together the production."
"But we have our own graphics package that we produced for New Japan. So it will look a little bit different," Simon explained. "It's a live event so anything can happen."
Simon stated they are excited for next month's special and believe AXS TV's experience in MMA is going to create something entertaining. Following the July 1 live broadcast, AXS TV will premiere the second night of the G1 event in a four-hour showcase that will begin on Friday, July 7 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT. The presentation will feature every match from night two in Long Beach with limited commercials.
The G1 Special will mark AXS TV's first live New Japan Pro Wrestling broadcast.