According to the Wrestling Observer, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s working contract with AXS TV comes to an end in 2021. They’ve been with the network since 2014 when Adam Swift, former VP of legal affairs who was laid off this week due to the Anthem buy-out, pushed for the promotion to be broadcast, as he was a massive Japanese wrestling fan. That plan was eventually green-lit by AXS TV CEO Andrew Simon, who was also let go.
As far as what this means for IMPACT Wrestling’s addition to the network, reports are that Chief Corporate Officer of Anthem Entertainment and head of IMPACT Ed Nordholm will meet with NJPW executives to determine what they plan on doing with the NJPW on AXS, and possibly force a working relationship. Whether that plan involves NJPW dropping Ring of Honor, or leaving the network remains to be seen. Nordholm recently stated, “Anthem has been public that it has not made any decisions regarding current programming. We have been long-time broadcast partners with TV Asahi for NJPW at Fight Network and hope to build on that relationship. We are in the middle of a season with WOW and about to tape another series of episodes next week, so no reason to make any decisions there in the short term. We’re looking forward to getting to know them better.”