After barely pulling in a less than tepid 2.4% overall average and a 4.0% peak rating for Shinya Aoki vs. David Gardner, Zach Arnold doesn't mince words:
Who knew that when the MMA boom went kaput in Japan that MMA programming would draw lower ratings than New Japan on TV-Asahi? There’s a certain karmic justice in all of this if you know how the history of the Japanese fight scene has played out over the last 10-12 years, given that it was pro-wrestling’s star power that carried the major Japanese shows. Once the pro-wrestling star factory dried up and got damaged by MMA, it soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The mainstream fight scene is now down to one major operation in each sector - New Japan on TV-Asahi (pro-wrestling) and K-1 on TBS/Fuji TV (kickboxing). That’s it. NOAH’s done on Nippon TV.