Rey Mysterio was set to be a spotlight addition to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Strong Style Evolved event in Long Beach on Sunday, but things just didn’t work out for the lucha legend. As we reported earlier in March, Mysterio suffered a partial tear of his left bicep while performing at an indie show for Northeast Wrestling. While a possible WWE return was rumored following his surprise Royal Rumble appearance, his confirmed debut with New Japan is the only event to be thrown off track slightly due to this absence.
Mysterio made his intentions clear with a videotape appearance at NJPW’s New Beginning event at the start of February. In a videotaped message, the former WWE Heavyweight Champion called out Jushin “Thunder” Liger for a match at the already sold out Long Beach show. New Japan announced his removal during the press conference for the 2018 New Japan Cup and his replacement, Will Ospreay. The promotion also announced the rest of the card for the super show that’s set to air on AXSTV Sunday at 8 pm. The show also coincides with the opening of the NJPW LA Dojo, giving them a foothold on the West Coast of the U.S. and allowing for more shows in the near future.
The loss of Mysterio isn’t huge to NJPW, but it does represent of loss of some legitimacy for the local fans. It also puts a big question mark over his plans with WWE and any appearance he may have planned for WrestleMania. Still, the show must go on. Here are the matches set for Sunday’s NJPW super show:
* Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. The Young Bucks
* IWGP U.S. Champion Jay White vs. Hangman Page
* IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okaka and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki
* Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Will Ospreay
* Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Dragon Lee and Rysuke Taguchi vs. SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi
* Cody Rhodes and Marty Scurll vs. Guerrillas of Destiny
* Chuck Taylor and Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer
* Gedo and Hirooki Goto vs. Juice Robinson and David Finlay
* Roppongi 3.0 and Rocky Romero vs. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky