NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed on AXS TV will not feature Josh Barnett at the commentary desk, instead he’ll be replaced by Kevin Kelly — but it’s not a permanent change.
Barnett confirmed the news via Twitter, saying he’ll be in Japan on September 30 as the cornerman for one his fighters … which means he obviously can’t make it to Long Beach that day.
Josh explained it’s only a one time thing though and he’ll still appear on future broadcasts.
AXS TV announced on Friday Kevin Kelly will replace Barnett on commentary at the event, which will not be airing live like past NJPW events that have taken place in the United States.
Instead, the show will air on October 5 at 8pm ET and Kelly will be joined by Jim Ross.
“While I will miss working with my normal broadcast partner Josh Barnett, I am excited for the opportunity to work again with Kevin Kelly, whom I broadcast with for the first time 20 years ago,” said Jim Ross in the press release. “Kevin has great knowledge from working on NJPW World, so he’ll bring another perspective to the broadcast and, as we all know, anything can and usually does happen. It should be a heck of a night.”