Destroy All Lines dipping their toes into the wrestling market for this New Japan Pro Wrestling tour? Fuck yeah!
Back in October, Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW) were kind enough to give me access to some of their mainstay wrestlers to talk with them about what their favourite bands are, what music they love, what pumps them up before a big match and so on. Once these interviews were all done and dusted, their owner Mike Jozis kindly let me stick around to watch the first of two nights for Melbourne City Wrestling Seven in Essendon. And holy fuckin’ shit, it was such an insane night!
The packed-out crowd’s energy was just incredible and the electrifying atmosphere was larger and stronger than a mid-tier wrestling show in Essendon had any right to be. I think the real standout of the night (other than Trent Seven’s killer appearance and subsequent match with Mr Juicy) was when champion Adam Brooks – *the* guy in the local scene at the moment – came out to defend his title with the announcer then saying, “And the challenger – Caveman Ugg!” “Wait, what the hell did he just say?” I thought to myself and before I knew what was happening, cave paintings vividly flashed on the stage’s two screens, tribal drum beats blared out from the PA and a hulking, long-haired dude who looked like he sorely needed a shower came running out onto the stage, covered in a torn caveman outfit and face paint. Wrestling jumped the shark a very long time ago but the way it embraces its own brand of insanity is what I’ve come to really adore about it as an adult.
Anyway, my whole point here is that if you have never been to a wrestling show before, let alone a large scale one, then you’ve got one very good reason to do so coming up in February. Because as you’ve already gathered from this article’s title, yes, the New Japan Pro Wrestling league is finally coming Down Under sooner than you think.
With a little help from the usual suspects – Aussie promoters Destroy All Lines – the NJPW has officially announced not only their first ever international run but also their first tour of Australia for “New Japan Pro Wrestling Fallout Down Under”. From all of the solid hype overseas, the sky-high fan demand, the strong growing scene here in Australia, and the tireless efforts and hefty legwork of wrestlers like Mr Juicy (who debuted at Wrestle Kingdom 12 – a massive 55,000 cap event at the Tokyo Dome – and who made a big impact in the pre-show Rumble) as well The Underboss” Bad Luck Fale, the Eastern league will be crossing borders come February for this massive inaugural tour.
This debut Australian run for NJPW will be led by the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the “The Rainmaker” himself, Kazuchika Okada – who is pictured above and who is basically synonymous with Japanese wrestling of late. This modern-day legend will then be joined by “The Ace of New Japan”, Current IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and Current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Sanada & ‘’King of Darkness’’ Evil, who are also members of Los Ingobernables de Japon. This long wet dream list of sweaty wrestling talent also includes other big names, from The Bullet Club, The Young Bucks, the previously mentioned Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa, former five-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA, legendary MMA Fighter & veteran professional wrestler Minoru Suzuki, Juice Robinson, as well as new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay (who will be stopping by Sydney and Perth only).
Now, when it comes to this sport, so many of my wrestling-inclined pals always state that the Japanese league is the most exciting Wrestling Federation on the planet right now. And it seems to be with good reason! While over in Japan, their biggest wrestling event of the yearly calendar may be done and dusted, the Rising Sun is now settings its sights on Australian shores. Yesterday it was Japan, tomorrow it’ll be Australia. And the day after that? Well, probably the world, as hopefully a tour like this can open up larger avenues for wrestling (and music) here in Oz.
Check out the New Japan Pro Wrestling Fallout Down Under tour dates below:
Friday 16th February – ADELAIDE, Titanium Arena
Saturday 17th February – MELBOURNE, Festival Hall
Sunday 18th February – SYDNEY, Quay Centre
Monday 19th February – PERTH, HBF Stadium
Tickets go on sale: Friday 12th, January @ 9:00am local time.
Tickets from: www.destroyalllines.com
Header PC: Owen Jones (Digital Beard)