The WWE Network has some company when it comes to offering their digital streaming service for free this month. New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) has decided to offer their NJPW World network for free in February to new customers.
NJPW World launched on December 1 to great reviews from wrestling fans around the world. The NJPW World service features a vast back catalog of NJPW matches, going back to the company’s inception in the 1970s. Want to see the legendary Antonio Inoki wrestle? Check. Hulk Hogan wrestling in Japan in the early 1980s? Check. How about the famous NJPW Super J-Cup tournaments from the 1990s that helped launch the careers of Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and many others? NJPW World has it covered.
Not only does NJPW World feature great past content on demand, it also features NJPW’s current product as well. There is a live feed on NJPW World that carries house shows, as well as big shows like January’s much acclaimed Wrestle Kingdom 9 Tokyo Dome event. February will feature two particularly big shows on the NJPW World live feed (and later on demand): the New Beginning shows on February 11 and 14.
The February 11 NJPW New Beginning show is headlined by IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, defending his belt against AJ Styles. Since his departure from TNA, Styles has become one of the top stars in NJPW as part of the “Bullet Club.” This match with Tanahashi, the torch-bearer of NJPW, is sure to be a candidate for match of the year.
The February 14 NJPW New Beginning show will feature Shinsuke Nakamura defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Yuji Nagata. Nakamura is riding high after an incredibly successful 2014, and he is arguably the most exciting wrestler in the world today. As part of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s 2014 awards, Nakamura took home both the prestigious “Wrestler of the Year” award and the “Most Charismatic” award. This was the fourth straight year that a NJPW wrestler won the “Wrestler of the Year” award, with Hiroshi Tanahashi winning it the previous three years (2011-2013).
NJPW World is available online through http://njpwworld.com. As far as streaming the service on televisions goes, NJPW does not yet offer apps through Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, etc. However, many subscribers successfully use methods such as Apple Airplay or basic HDMI connections to watch on the big screen. The company also recently released an Android application for mobile phones.
One thing to note is that the NJPW World website is in Japanese. In order to translate to English, you can navigate to the bottom of the main page, and there is a language selector in the bottom right corner. The site will automatically translate after you choose your language, and it makes navigating NJPW World very simple.
With services like NJPW World and the current television deal with AXS, New Japan Pro Wrestling has never been so easily accessible in the United States.
[Image via YouTube]