10 Awesome Modern Wrestlers Who Made Their Name In Japan


WhatCulture Wrestling


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[Applause] the bullet clubbers made the idea of a quote-unquote foreigner invading New Japan Pro Wrestling part of our culture the whole point of the group was to be a bunch of overseas talents sailing to the east in order to laugh in the face of traditional values and stamp their own authority on proceedings I can't cept for nowt of the ridiculous rise of Riki dozer and honestly if you don't know who there is and want to see a popular superstar like no other look him up now the legend would cement his adoration by fending off would-be Outsiders Stan Hansen Freddie Blassie Terry Funk they all found a lease of life in Japan thanks to this concept even if eventually they were sent home packing it has meant plenty of wrestlers have not only been able to follow suit but make their name in the Land of the Rising Sun without their run here maybe their careers would have been very different indeed I'm Simon from what culture this is ten or some modern wrestlers who made their name in Japan number ten Carl Anderson given out WWE uses most of its talent nowadays it's weird that Carl Anderson managed to skip NXT all together and get a fast-track to the main roster it sucks that he and Luke Gallows aren't used anywhere near as much as they should but in hindsight maybe a route through developmental would have been far better for Anderson the reason I say this is because back in 2012 Carl had as much potential as any singles wrestler on the planet leaving the tag division behind he entered the new Japan cup with so much momentum and creative juices that he devised a better kick spot than once in skåne Nakamura Nakamura the time was considered one of the best in the world the combination was so good when Anderson hit the king of strong style with a spinning heel kick he didn't even have to smack his palm against his thigh the audience that night made all the necessary noise such was the impact this wasn't the only high-level performance he entered during this period which does beg the question if he's doing nothing on Smackdown which he is not why not take a little trip down to Florida and remind everyone just what he's capable of number nine mice girl what a journey mice girl has head from party Marty who even appeared on a dating TV show over here in the UK known as take me out it wasn't until he flew to the east this girl became cool things a disputing there in 2019 after he had reinvented himself as a theatrical villain he made a right dent in the resurging British wrestling scene but took all that momentum and made it work to an even higher level in Japan if you want to know how far we're talking at wrestle Kingdom 12 he walked down the yard with two massive bird wings attached to his back aligning himself with the elite guys and continually improving in the ring all this was cemented with a five star rating courtesy of Dave Meltzer when he took on will Osprey at Sakura Genesis any arguments that it was just a novelty act were thrown under the bus and from here he's just moved up the ladder what happens when his ring up on a contract end is anybody's guess but he's already defined his career in Japan so he'll likely just go on to get more and more success number eight hangman page hangman page is everything that WWE wants he has the look the hair and he can wrestle he's a Vince McMahon dream especially when you take into account that he won wrestles playing his hunk of the Year award what else do you need throughout last year he also continued to up his game to the point everybody wanted a piece of mr. page if you need some evidence just go and check his tag match with Cody Rhodes against the golden lovers or pretty much anything he did in you Japan over the last 12 months of course he pretty much had a blinding 2018 in general and while elsewhere hangman may have been overlooked he absolutely was not here his rate of progression was nothing short of incredible and he took the fame he made of the east and applied that to the crazy brawl he had it all in just him and Joey too now trying to kill each other because why the hell not he also ensured to get an extra bang from his appearances in being the elite and really 2019 should be another breakout year for him makes no sense can only have one breakout year once you've broken out you can't break out again but either way keep an eye on the man the future is bright number seven the young bucks no matter Nick Jackson mostly split their time equally between Ring of Honor Pro Wrestling guerrilla in New Japan as they evolved from generation me to the young bucks it was the latter company where they not only came together as a team but matured into seasoned performers here they're not only one other plenty of naysayers who claimed they were nothing more than spot monkeys but also became masters of selling they knew they could do this anyway but throughout 2018 they nailed it down in fantastic matches against Roppongi 3k and Evil Ensenada they had the foresight about when they should ramp it up and when it was time to calm things back down it was around this time when the butts continued to widen their skillset with a classic story revolving around Mets back he played it so well and with so much realism many actually questioned if maybe he tweaked it the fact the team then worked around it and did their usual spot but with a twist just proved what they were capable of it was always a team effort though and Nick got in on the act at Dominion as he devised an incredible spot in which he struck the ringpost with his leg and that in turn creates an incredible drama the guys who could apparently only do super kicks embrace old school narratives and in turn have become one of if not the best duo there is even if you disagree you can't say they're not entertaining because they are but that one's a bit number six puck if you are new to the British pro wrestling scene know it wasn't always and bright and lovely as it is now this is likely one reason why pack headed to the east of her fill his potential and prove that he may just be one of the best high fliers we've ever seen in this crazy industry it didn't take him long to grab his attention either as he absolutely stole the show at the king of Europe Cup tournament of 2007 he rose through the ranks in Dragon Gate just as the promotion reached his peak as the coolest wrestling promotion on the planet a bear combo the company itself was nuts too and I mean that as a compliment every wrestler went at 100 miles per hour they were gang warfare storylines the titles look like actual prizes and if you were wrestling hipster you spoke about Dragon Gate as much as you could this would usually be bookended with the name park as he dazzled spectators in their thousands it was like two totally different stars and looks coming together and yet he pulled it off with ease it was impossible not to be blown away by him Dragon Gate knew this too and gave Park a record 447 day reign with the open the brave gate championship and it was just up one up from here as we know even after he'd left WWE last year he still got back to the top of his game in Japan and now he's with aew - what a damn hero number five ricochet although ricochet is perhaps more synonymous with pro wrestling guerrilla you could argue that the promotion doesn't reach as far as it needs to in order to get casual fans on board with the king to do that he had to travel to Japan where he gained a whole new reputation in both Dragon Gate and NJPW as you can imagine he was a perfect fit an athlete who seemed like he'd come from the future that was able to reverse encounter moves like it was nothing he fit right into the conversation went in about the stars of tomorrow and effortlessly went from one company to the next as more and more people felt the need to check out the men known as ricochet it was in New Japan where he seemed to evolve too and add a new level of visual nuance to his work he flew post striked and became an icon for gifts all over the internet and even changed the business in many ways when he had that match and if you don't know what I'm referring to don't worry because before we'll Osprey a leading light for all of bridge wrestling will Osprey hit new heights when his match with ricochet blew up Twitter and caused the debate that still rages today the 2016 best of the super Junior's clash did indeed infuriate the old guard though was these two mixed video games with gymnastics and somehow turned that into incredible pro wrestling it's a praise for that if nothing else who comes up with something like that it was a story here too even though that got lost in translation the point was both men were each other's equal and no matter what Osprey did ricochet had a counter and vice versa the fact they could fly around like butterflies was just the icing on the cake much like the Bucks it also spurned the aerial assassin to prove the negative nancies wrong as his storytelling and Stelling stepped up to a whole new level especially when it came to his nick reel or not it was impossible to watch an osprey match and not be convinced his head was about to fall off take the 2017 match with Shibata Osprey saw his struggle to such a degree it was even a struggle to roll his opponent back into the ring at the 19 count he has continued to be a highlight in New Japan ever since including a mini classic against ko to Abu XI which once again showed how versatile Osprey can be besides he must have done something right who else can openly admit to not feeling the need to go to WWE because they're doing so well on different Shores number three deuce Robertson in 2015 CJ Parker requested his release from WWE and he got it that's gonna be a dying habit going forward especially because CJ repackaged himself as juice Robinson and absolutely kicked all the yes in New Japan the best part was he did this by dipping into the past selling himself as a humble fired up babyface he won every one over by working hard and absolutely smashing it when someone put a microphone in his hand he focused on the foundations of what makes a good pro wrestler and it worked a treat over in Japan juice has been reborn his rise has been organic to moving up the card adding to his match psychology and hitting a career high in 2018 sg-1 climax 'we had a match of the year candidate against jay white acting like switchblade was a major threat it was a well rounded performance by robinson that underlined why NJPW are planning to push him to the moon this year he's done so well there in this new environment where every promotion is going after everybody else new Japan offered him a multi-year deal which is rare for a foreigner they usually get contracts that run from January to January but that's the point never to finn bálor casual WWE fans probably don't know how good finn bálor ease that's not their fault he was so good in New Japan as Prince debe that the comparison is ridiculous a smiley version we're used to his the antithesis to the cocky asshole that he once was and where did that start that's right you Japan embracing the bullet Club gimmick and even clocking a finger gun in a card his face Fowler didn't give a crap and NJPW and walked around the place like he owned it he was aggressive and self-assured right down to mocking his opponent's accent in what was an act of war it didn't matter the Rainmaker was above him in terms of weight classes Finn was gonna do whatever he wanted regardless even as a babyface in the east his work was unparalleled and he was part of the revolution that we now consider to be the star we all like enjoy when it comes to wrestling he flew on offense and never quit when he was getting beat down than in short Bala could do whatever you asked of him outside of the ring his creative contributions to the aforementioned bullet Club were top two native fans hated how he would distract the referee or maneuver his opponents into harm's way whereas Western fans thought this was the coolest thing ever just take a moment to remember how many t-shirts they still sell thanks VIN Bella number one Kenny Omega noted Japanophile Kenny Omega was drawn to Japan almost instantly well kinda he did have a fascinating early start in WWE developmental territory Deep South wrestling in which trainer bill demott did nothing with him whoops when in Japan though Kenny gleefully thrust himself into all aspects of the culture which included joining the DDT promotion drawn here by KO to Abu Shi who he successfully courted by wrestling at Goran I just plain AJ of this blade is really cool to see minute to see me I'm disappointed but you guys list I'm very disappointed you even have the phenomenal one in your this let alone Tama Tonga I mean you gotta talk about guys that I made in Japan I should be on top of your list I was made in Japan right here come on well coach what best friends now I said I was sorry 2008 he was I made a public apology you guys friends you