Over the course of the last few years a new juggernaut has been steadily gaining momentum in the world of wrestling. What may come as a surprise to many though is that this giant originates from Japan rather than the United States.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is now the second largest wrestling promotion in the world, and is a substantial competitor to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). As proof of this you simply need to look at their roster which features talents which have been ranked as the best wrestlers in the world such as IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Will Ospreay and finally former WWE superstar Cody Rhodes.
City Hub had the opportunity to speak with Cody Rhodes ahead of NJPW’s inaugural venture into Australia this weekend. With this being NJPW’s first tour of Australia we asked Cody to explain the major differences audiences can expect from these shows compared to WWE shows which have toured here before.
“Wrestling is absolutely sports entertainment but New Japan skews really heavily into the sport side of it with the strong style and the matches themselves. What brought us to the dance as an industry is what happens between those ropes and New Japan is the best at it, we’re offering absolutely great match after great match.”
In 2017 NJPW fired the first shot in their global expansion by hosting a two night event in Long Beach, California. The upcoming tour of Australia will be the next step in this process.
“I was so proud to be in that featured main event in New Japan’s very first American show,” said Cody Rhodes. “I think it’s a really measured choice that their next expansion shows weren’t in North America, the UK or Europe, instead they were in Australia and shows just how much New Japan wanted to give to the Australian fans.”
Not only is NJPW expanding their own reach into Australia they’ve also taken notice of the phenomenal talents on offer here and welcomed aboard a number of local talents such as Robbie Eagles, Mick Moretti, Jack Bonza, Jonah Rock and Gino Gambino.
As Rhodes revealed exclusively to City Hub he is excited to face off with some of these talents.
“On the forth night of the tour I have a triple threat match with the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles. That’s a huge match for me and something that is really cross pollinating and merging the world so I’m particularly looking forward to that one.”
Feb 18. Quaycentre, Olympic Boulevard, Sydney Olympic Park. $50-$440+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.destroyalllines.com