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WWE Is Back In Japan After 2021, Sets To Begin From October 2023

9 months ago By Sports Desk

WWE has just made a big announcement regarding its shows in Japan. They’ve partnered with ABEMA, a streaming service, to bring RAW, Smackdown, and WWE Pay-Per-Views (PPVs) to Japanese fans. This is a significant move because, for the first time, people in Japan can watch WWE for free. The broadcasts will also include Japanese commentary, making it more accessible to local viewers. The shows will be available on ABEMA within twelve hours of their airing in the United States.

This marks WWE’s return to Japanese screens after nearly two years. ABEMA has secured an exclusive deal to broadcast Raw and SmackDown, starting in October. Raw will be shown every Tuesday at 8 PM, beginning October 3rd, while SmackDown will air every Saturday, starting October 7th, also at 8 PM. Both of these shows will have Japanese commentary and will be free to watch. Additionally, starting October 1, you can catch all the WrestleMania events on ABEMA Video.

WWE’s premium live events will also be available to watch in Japan. ABEMA will become WWE’s home in Japan, offering Raw and SmackDown with Japanese commentary for the first time, along with exciting live broadcasts of premium events like WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Fastlane.

This collaboration between WWE and ABEMA comes into effect in October 2023. Raw and SmackDown will air weekly for free in Japan, with the added benefit of Japanese commentary and on-demand viewing. This agreement also includes NXT, which can be watched on-demand via ABEMA Video.

Moreover, all WWE Premium Live Events will be exclusively broadcast live on ABEMA, and fans can enjoy past editions of WrestleMania on-demand through ABEMA Video, starting October 1.

In anticipation of this exciting development, there will be a special WWE broadcast called the “Emergency RAW Special Program” on September 29th at 9 PM. This program will highlight WWE’s arrival on ABEMA, with Keiji Muto (known as the Great Muta) serving as an Ambassador of ABEMA wrestling. Muto had made an appearance at WWE Payback in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was recently inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame this year.

Back in late 2021, the long-standing partnership between J Sports and WWE came to an end. J Sports used to broadcast Raw and SmackDown live in English, as well as one-hour highlight versions of the shows with Japanese subtitles.

This move to ABEMA could be a significant step for WWE in Japan, a market they’ve been eyeing for quite some time. It might be the first move toward achieving their long-term goal of establishing a Performance Center in Japan. It will be interesting to see how this new partnership unfolds.

What do you think about WWE’s move to Japan? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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