After weeks of speculation and anticipation, Global Force Wrestling officially announced this morning that Jim Ross is returning to the announcing booth in wrestling and will call the NJPW “Wrestle Kingdom 9” show on Jan. 4.
Here is the press release:
JIM ROSS SIGNS ON TO CALL GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING’S PRESENTATION OF NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’S “WRESTLE KINGDOM 9” ON JAN. 4
NASHVILLE — Jim Ross, the preeminent voice of professional wrestling for the past four decades, has agreed to provide the play-by-play for Global Force Wrestling’s presentation of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s “Wrestle Kingdom 9” live on pay per view in North America on Jan. 4, 2015.
The Hall of Famer has called more pro wrestling PPV events than any broadcaster and is regarded as the greatest, play-by-play announcer in wrestling history. He will be returning to the mic at one of the biggest events in the world. This is the 24th year of NJPW’s annual extravaganza at the Tokyo Dome, where more than 40,000 fans from are expected to attend.
“I am truly honored and excited to have been asked to be a part of this historic event,” Ross said. “To be able to return to my roots and to provide play by play for an amazing, pro wrestling product will be special. I never thought I’d ever return to ringside for a wrestling event but this opportunity was just too special to turn down.”
GFW founder and CEO Jeff Jarrett said he had been working on lining up Ross for weeks.
“When you think of the great events in wrestling over the past 30 years one of the things they have in common is the man behind the microphone. And that man is Jim Ross,” Jarrett said. “I’m excited for this event, and I’m excited for good ol’ JR to be a part of it. GFW fans wanted him, and from day one we have said we’re going to give our fans what they want.”
The show, which will air live at 2 a.m. ET (11 p.m. PT) and re-air in prime time at 7 p.m. ET (4 PT) is available on DirecTV, Dish, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Verizon Fios and all cable systems in the United States, and in Canada on Bell ExpressVu TV, Rogers, Shaw, Sasktel and Telus. Check your local listings for availability. The show also will be available on the “Flipps” app on iTunes and Android.
This year’s card is headlined by an IGWP heavyweight title match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. The Bullet Club, of which Jarrett is a member along with AJ Styles and IWGP tag team champions Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, will appear as well.
The show will be available in English and in Japanese via the second audio program (SAP) button on your TV.
Ross will be traveling to Tokyo, Japan and will be ringside when he calls the action. It is still not known who his broadcast partner will be.