New Zealanders are featured prominently across the card of New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) Southern Showdown tonight in Melbourne, Australia.
Bad Luck Fale and Jay White headline the pay-per-view, broadcast live from Melbourne’s prestigious Festival Hall, against an NJPW dream team of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada.
“I’ve always known where I belong on the card, so this is no surprise, pressure, or shock to me,” Jay White told Fox Sports.
“It’s what I’ve always expected and it’s now normal for me.”
White has headlined NJPW events against both Okada and Tanahashi in 2019. “Switchblade” bested Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in February, before losing the title to Okada at April’s G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden.
Southern Showdown may present White the chance to avenge his loss to Okada. Fale, meanwhile, will seek momentum before battling both Okada and Tanahashi one-on-one as part of the A Block in the 29th annual G1 Climax—the gruelling month-long tournament that kicks off in July.
The opening match of Southern Showdown is also stacked with Kiwi talent. Fale Dojo General Manager Mark Tui and Michael Richards tag with Australian Andrew Villalobos to take on another trio captained by New Zealand’s Toa Henare.
“It makes me proud that Fale Dojo is being recognised at Southern Showdown,” Fale told Ite Lemalu.
“The Dojo has been creating pathways for the local talent, so I’m pleased that our team from the Dojo will be given an opportunity to show their skills.”
NJPW Southern Showdown airs live tonight from 9pm NZST on Fite TV. The pay-per-view costs $34.99 NZD. First-time users of Fite TV can use NZPWI’s referral code “j2oynd” for a $10 credit on their Fite account to put toward future pay-per-view purchases. Southern Showdown is expected to be uploaded to NJPW World 72 hours after the Fite TV broadcast.
NJPW Southern Showdown Card:
- Bad Luck Fale & Jay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Will Ospreay (c) vs. Robbie Eagles
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls
- RPW British Cruiserweight Championship:
El Phantasmo (c) vs. Rocky Romero
- Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI
- Gino Gambino & Taiji Ishimori vs. Toru Yano & YOH
- Aaron Solow vs. Slex
- Andrew Villalobos, Mark Tui & Michael Richards vs. Nick Bury, Shota Umino & Toa Henare