Published Wednesday, 3rd June 2015
With just over a week to go until Rev Pro returns to York Hall, I'd like to take the time to look at one of the factors that have helped Rev Pro stand out from the crowd and make these York Hall events so special. In today's article, I want to take a brief look at the New Japan connection, the relationship which has allowed Rev Pro to feature some of wrestling's biggest stars that you won't see anywhere else In the UK.
The New Japan connection with Rev Pro began in 2012 with the birth of Revolution Pro Wrestling and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
The very first Rev Pro show featured the debut of one of New Japan Pro Wrestling's biggest stars, Prince Devitt. Whilst Devitt was Irish born, he had spent most of his career in Japan and since becoming one of the biggest stars in Japan, was coming to the UK as a returning hero. During his first few months with Rev Pro, Devitt became cruiserweight champion and a mainstay at Rev Pro events.
Devitts involvement with Rev Pro opened the eyes of New Japan management who saw big things happening in the UK and a deal was struck to bring a wrestling legend to the UK for the first time. That legend was Jushin "Thunder" Liger and he came to England for the first time in 25 years to take on Devitt in an incredible match that I wrote about a few articles ago.
Since that first magical night in York Hall, numerous stars of New Japan have followed in Liger's footsteps and made the trip to the UK. Hiroshi Tanahashi came to Rev Pro in October 2013 and defeated Marty Scurll in a huge match which ended with Tanahashi standing side by side with Hall of Famer, Bret "Hitman" Hart.
Other names have followed including Kazuchika Okada, The Young Bucks and Karl Anderson. Two other names that have appeared for Rev Pro are Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles, two of the biggest stars in the world who will both return to London on June 14th. Since 2013, Rev Pro has featured a who's who of New Japan stars.
As well as Styles and Nakamura, one more New Japan star will be at York Hall on June 14th and it's a man that will be making his UK debut, " The Stone Pitbull" Tomohiro Ishii. You can expect Ishii to follow the example that has been set for him by tearing the roof off of York Hall and showing exactly why the New Japan and Rev Pro relationship is such a wonderful thing for wrestling here in the UK.
York Hall is now sold out for the Summer Sizzler but we will return to York Hall on October 2nd and tickets are on sale now. For those of you that aren't going to join us at Summer Sizzler, I guarantee you won't want to miss Uprising in October.
In my next article I'll take an in depth look at the Summer Sizzler card as well as a few more York Hall memories.
I'll see you from the ring...