Cruiserweight legend Rey Mysterio will appear in New Japan Pro Wrestling, having made a video announcement on today’s New Beginning in Osaka show.
Mysterio appeared on the video screen just as Chris Jericho did when challenging Kenny Omega. Interestingly, he decided to call out Jushin Thunder Liger – another wrestler widely regarded as one of the pioneering high-fliers in the history of the industry.
That match – should Liger accept the challenge – will take place at New Japan’s Long Beach, California show on March 25th.
The pair have met just once before, with Liger defeating Mysterio in a 14-minute match at WCW’s Starrcade ’96 pay per view.
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 10, 2018
Mysterio was met with a huge reception recently, returning to WWE as a surprise entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble match. He has also been competing as part of 5 Star Wrestling’s tour of the United Kingdom, recently beating ‘Tap or Snap’ Champion Mark Haskins by disqualification.
Mysterio’s NJPW announcement came in the middle of a generally well-received show featuring several title matches. If you want to avoid the results, stop reading now.
In the main event, Kazuchika Okada successfully defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against SANADA. Two other championships were successfully defended, as Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay held off Hiromu Takahashi, and NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto beat EVIL.
Earlier in the night, Suzuki-gun representatives Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado defeated IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi 3K – but the bout was specified as a non-title match beforehand.
It will be interesting to see whether any other big names decide to follow Jericho (and now Mysterio) into New Japan Pro Wrestling – particularly with the promotion’s continued focus on attracting a larger Western audience.
Jericho’s next big match appears to be against Tetsuya Naito – a clash reportedly scheduled for the Long Beach shows, before being pushed back to an unknown date.