The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express will make their New Japan Pro Wrestling debut on September 27, 2019, during the company’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed tour on the East Coast of the United States.
If you’ve noticed what Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson have been up to recently, you know they might be the least shocking pair of sixty-year-old wrestlers to take this type of step in the fourth decade of their intertwined careers. They don’t wrestle nearly as often as they did in their 1980s heyday, but they’ve wrestled some big-name tag teams in their primes in 2019. Their match with LAX at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 was extremely memorable, and not just because Morton did a Canadian Destroyer! They also showed up in Beyond to wrestle The Butcher and the Blade and feuded with the Briscoes in NWA’s revived Crockett Cup, then in Ring of Honor.
Though this will be their NJPW debut, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express have wrestled in Japan before. They spent time in All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1988 and in both WAR and FMW between 1993 and 1997.
The cards for the three Fighting Spirit Unleashed shows have yet to be announced, but, in addition to the RNRs, the list of names announced for the show is a list of most of NJPW’s current major players: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Yoshi-Hashi, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito, Bushi, Evil, Sanada, Shingo Takagi, Lance Archer, Yoh, Sho, Rocky Romero, Jay White, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Kenta. Given how often the fact that Chase Owens was trained by Ricky Morton is brought up on commentary, maybe he’ll make a surprise appearance too.
What do you think about this announcement? Any thoughts on who the RNRs will wrestle? Will they be adopted by a faction? Let us know in the comments.