Mike Johnson's HOT TAKE - NJPW on FITE!
As the biggest professional wrestling tournament in the world looms, ahead in the G1 Climax tournament, New Japan Pro Wrestling heads down under on Saturday June 29th with the first-ever Southern Showdown event, airing live on FITE from Melbourne, Australia.
FITE will be the exclusive broadcaster for Southern Showdown, which will be highlighted by a number of colossal clashes as the King of Sports brings the best Strong Style professional wrestling in the world to a global audience, direct from Melbourne.
IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale
Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi have battled over who is the true Ace in New Japan Pro Wrestling in one of the most celebrated wrestling rivalries of all time, but at Southern Showdown, they unite to face the might of the Bullet Club's Bad Luck Fale and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jay White. On his own, Bad Luck Fale is one of the most powerful and dangerous forces in Bullet Club, but add in "The Switchblade", who is still looking to avenge his loss at the G1 Supercard to Okada and it's a toxic combination.
After all, what better way to achieve revenge then to demoralize the current IWGP kingpin, Kazuchika Okada, just before the G1 Climax? With Okada and Tanahashi scheduled to face off on the first night of G1 Climax, will they be united as a tandem or will the Bullet Club be able to use their forthcoming bout to shatter their alliance?
With Fale in his local stomping grounds and Bullet Club looking to level the playing field at G1 Climax, Southern Showdown may very well be the epicenter of a ripple effect that changes the entire face of New Japan in the coming months.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay vs. Robbie_Eagles
Following his incredible victory in the Best of Super Juniors tournament, Will Ospreay returns to Australia as a celebration champion and one of the most talked about athletes in all of professional wrestling. To make his return Down Under complete, however, he's going to have to achieve victory over one of the most dangerous competitors in Australia, Robbie_Eagles.
The longtime WSW Champion and Ospreay are now stranger to each other as their previous battles have set the bar for aerial combat in Australia. With the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship hanging in the balance, Eagles has a chance to score the mightiest win of his career and change the entire face of New Japan in the process. Ospreay has all the momentum in the world at the moment, but if there's anyone who knows his weaknesses and how to capitalize on them, it's Robbie_Eagles.
Guaranteed to be a show-stopper, prepare to hold your breath and look to the skies as the bell rings.
IWGP Tag Team Champions The Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls
Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa have been among the most vicious tag teams in New Japan Pro Wrestling, holding a firm grip on the IWGP Tag Team Championship, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Juice Robinson is seeking to rebound after shockingly losing the IWGP United States Championship to Jon Moxley, looking to forge a new Championship alliance with Australian star Mikey Nicholls. Nicholls, the former WWE NXT star, has never been one to kneel before any opposition, but the Guerrillas of Destiny are monsters of a different breed. The sons of the legendary Haku will battle to the bitter end.
The real X-Factor in the match will be Robinson. His passion for competition has never been silenced and has brought him across the entire globe in pursuit of titles and victory.
At New Japan's Southern Showdown, a global audience will witness Robinson's first step back to glory.
Rocky Romero vs. El Phantasmo
Rocky Romero is one of the most celebrated Junior Heavyweight competitors in modern New Japan Pro Wrestling history, well renowned for his hybrid wrestling style and for being a keen sis one of New Japan's greatest and grizzled veterans, a one-man army who can withstand incredible amounts of punishment en route to victory. At Southern Showdown, he unites with YOSHI-HASHI to face down Bullet Club's Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens.
Takahashi and Owens have been the quiet backbone of Bullet Club, but at Southern Showdown, the spotlight will be on them as they seek to plant the Club's flag in Australia with a dominating victory. However, YOSHI-HASHI has been seeking that one definitive victory that can place him back on the road to New Japan's upper echelon.
Could teaming with the fearsome Ishii be the key to victory?
Toru Yano & Roppongi 3K vs. Taiji Ishimori & Gedo & Gino Gambino
Toru Yano has been one of the more loveable, silly competitors in New Japan, enjoying the moment as much as the combat. He has brought levity to the gritty Strong Style combat while Roppongi 3K, Sho and Yoh, has brought aerial excellence and tag team perfection to New Japan since returning from excursion. Their six-man tag team alliance at Southern Showdown is an Odd Couple pairing to say the least.
Their opposition in Australia all bring their own unique style to the ring - the gritty Gino Gambino, long-time NJPW stalwart Gedo and futuristic Junior Heavyweight Taiji Ishimori - leaving an open book for anyone trying to predict and wager on which way this battle can go.
Are we looking at all out brawl? Aerial combat pushed to the next level? Yano whacking everyone in sight with the turnbuckles? Your guess is as good as our as to how this will play out on FITE live.
Slex vs. Aaron Solow
In a match that features international ramifications, American star Aaron Solow will step into the ring against Australian veteran Slex.
This will be one of the biggest opportunities on a global scale for each talent. The timing could not have come at a better time for either.
As the pro wrestling world continues to terraform itself with a nuclear arms race for talent, a strong victory (and even a strong showing) could open the doors of opportunity for each competitor in New Japan Pro Wrestling and beyond…
Toa Henare & [[Shota Umino]] & Ren Narita vs. Mark Tui & Andrew Villalobos & Michael Richards
Some of New Japan Pro Wrestling's mightiest Young Lions will enter battle with some of Australia's op upcoming talents.
It will be a chance for Tui, Villalobos and Richards to make their mark in professional wrestling before a global audience live on FITE while Henare, Umino and Narita seek to show New Japan's Strong Style dominance while also enriching their own careers as they look to future stardom and championships.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain for each side, expect all of these competitors to leave it all in the ring in hopes of a flawless victory.
To order New Japan Pro Wrestling's Southern Showdown LIVE ON FITE: