NJPW has announced major changes to NJPW STRONG.
NJPW launched the brand in 2020, somewhat as a response to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The show aired every week on NJPW World and FITE, and the company taped matches in bulk at events in the United States. NJPW STRONG has also held pay-per-view shows, such as Music City Mayhem and Rumble on 44th Street. But NJPW president Takami Ohbari recently announced that the brand would rebuild and focus on quality over quantity.
NJPW has announced how the new NJPW STRONG will look operate. The company announced that all NJPW events in the United States will be branded as NJPW STRONG shows, and the weekly model will shift to a dual format with NJPW STRONG LIVE and STRONG On Demand. NJPW confirmed that the Battle in the Valley show on February 18 will be first STRONG LIVE show, which will air in English on FITE and in Japanese on NJPW World.
Otherwise, the action will be available with a delayed premiere on STRONG On Demand; starting with Battle in the Valley, the show will be available in a four-part series throughout March, similar to STRONG's previous weekly model.
Since its inception during the COVID pandemic in 2020, NJPW STRONG has seen the best rising stars in the US compete with familiar names from the Japanese stage and beyond. Monthly tapings have seen passionate fans witness great action live, with matches from those tapings being distributed every week on NJPW World and FITE.
Additionally, Pay Per View events from the US have seen still more memorable moments, from Jon Moxley and El Desperado’s wild deathmatch at “Music City Mayhem” to Eddie Kingston and Kazuchika Okada teaming for the first time, and STARDOM’s Mayu Iwatani defending SWA gold at “Rumble on 44th Street”.
In the past, these PPV offerings were presented under the NJPW rather than NJPW STRONG branding in order to make them more distinct from the weekly TV style presentations on NJPW World and FITE. As NJPW moves into a new era in 2023 however, so too does action in the US, and the time has come to further fortify the NJPW STRONG brand, as well as to ensure even more people sample the incredible action that NJPW presents in the US.
Moving forward, all events from New Japan Pro-Wrestling in the US will carry the branding of NJPW STRONG. In addition, the weekly ‘TV taping’ format of STRONG will shift to a dual model: STRONG LIVE and STRONG On Demand.
The first STRONG LIVE event will be Battle in the Valley on February 18 from the sold out San Jose Civic. With Mercedes Moné versus KAIRI for the IWGP Women’s Championship, Fred Rosser defending the STRONG Openweight Championship against KENTA, Jay White and Eddie Kingston in a grudge match, and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship also on the line, this immense card is a must watch event for fans live in English on FITE, or in Japanese on NJPW World PPV.
All this action will also be made available in March with NJPW STRONG On Demand. STRONG On Demand will see matches from STRONG Live cards delivered in a four part weekly basis through the month, much as NJPW STRONG has been to date.
NJPW STRONG on Demand March schedule
March 4 Battle in the Valley week 1: 2 matches
March 11 Battle in the Valley week 2: 3 matches
March 18 Battle in the Valley week 3: 2 matches
March 25 Battle in the Valley week 4: 3 matches
This model will continue with our return to WrestleCon this March with Strong Style Evolved, before NJPW Capital Collision in Washington DC and Collision in Philadelphia from the world famous 2300 Arena!
This dual model will give fans on a budget the chance to stay up to date with the hottest action in the US through their regular NJPW World subscription, while the very best live experience on the planet awaits on pay per view as it happens.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling thanks fans for their dedicated support of NJPW STRONG to date- we can’t wait to have you join us for Battle in the Valley and what lies beyond in a thrilling new chapter for all of NJPW.
In the announcement, NJPW also confirmed that the Strong Style Evolved, Capital Collision, and Collision in Philadelphia will use the new model.
Josh Alexander, KUSHIDA, and other stars have been added to the card for NJPW Battle in the Valley. More information is available here.
Catch up on our coverage of this week's episode of NJPW STRONG here.