Ring of Honor is coming to AXS TV.
ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s historic April 6 Madison Square Garden show—the G1 Supercard—will be televised on AXS TV, SI.com has learned. The event will air on the network as a two-part special on Friday, April 12 and Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
There are two world title matches on the card, with “Switchblade” Jay White defending the IWGP heavyweight championship against “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada, as well as a three-way ladder match between Matt Taven, “The Villain” Marty Scurll and reigning champ Jay Lethal to decide the Ring of Honor champion.
“There’s an incredible history of ladder matches at Madison Square Garden, and it’s a lot to live up to,” said Taven. “I personally feel like I was made for this moment and I have been waiting my whole life for it.”
The show—the first non-WWE wrestling event at MSG since a 1996 WCW show in the adjoining theater—has been one of the most anticipated events in wrestling since it was announced in July. Tickets sold out in a matter of minutes when they went on sale in August.
“This show is a crowning achievement for ROH, and you know all the boys on this incredible roster will be pulling out all the stops on such a big stage,” said Taven. “So it makes sense that ROH would want to get this show out to as many people as possible. If you’ve been missing out on the best wrestling on the planet, tune in to AXS and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.”
The card for the MSG show is loaded, arguably the most talent-laden of all the shows during WrestleMania weekend.
In addition to the two title matches, British Heavyweight champion Zack Sabre Jr. will battle New Japan legend Hiroshi Tanahashi, Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito puts his IWGP Intercontinental title on the line against Kota Ibushi, and there will be an extreme clash of styles as powerhouse Jeff Cobb takes on the “Aerial Assassin” Will Ospreay in a winner-take-all match for the ROH Television title and New Japan’s NEVER Openweight championship.
Taven wrestled Lethal to a 60-minute draw earlier this month at ROH’s 17th Anniversary pay-per-view, and he is eager to add the world title—the only title in the company he has yet to hold—to his wrestling portfolio. Standing in his way is Lethal, whose two reigns with the title are the longest for combined days in company history, as well as Scurll, who is one of the most compelling stars in the business and earned his title shot when he won a six-way elimination match this past November at ROH’s Survival of the Fittest show.
“I grew up watching those matches and thinking about what I would do if I was in that spot,” said Taven. “Now it’s time to live up to my own personal expectations, and I never let myself down.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.