British independent promotion Fight Club Pro announced the talent for their first show in Japan, at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, and the lineup included a surprising addition. Along with popular Japanese wrestlers Jun Kasai, CIMA, Daisuke Sekimoto, and FCP Champion Meiko Satomura, as well as FCP regulars Aussie Open and CCK, the poster for the show prominently features former WWE Cruiserweight Champion and current 205 Live star Akira Tozawa.
Drake Maverick retweeted the announcement in-character, saying he and the FCP management team “came to an agreement” regarding the loan of Tozawa, but given Maverick’s past work for the company as Rockstar Spud between 2011 and 2017, it’s possible the 205 Live GM played a real-life role in this inter-promotional relationship.
Given that other WWE wrestlers like Trent Seven (the first FCP champion) and Pete Dunne have history in Fight Club Pro, Tozawa is an interesting choice for this talent loan. However, it makes sense given his popularity in his home country of Japan, and maybe even his history working with CIMA in Dragon Gate. This will be Tozawa’s first match for the company, though he was known to work for other British indies before he signed with WWE.
The loan of Tozawa to FCP for their first show in Japan continues a few recent WWE trends:
- 205 Live stars doing things besides wrestle on 205 Live (Lucha House Party, Lio Rush, and Drake Maverick on Raw; Mustafa Ali vs. Daniel Bryan on SmackDown; Hideo Itami‘s one-off return to Pro Wrestling NOAH)
- WWE talent being allowed to wrestle on non-WWE shows in Japan (Itami in NOAH)
- WWE superstars, in general, being allowed to work for certain other promotions (see the NXT-EVOLVE relationship and some UK companies)
- WWE building relationships with UK promotions, a development that took what many saw as a foreboding/monopolistic turn with the reports of new restrictions in where NXT UK talent can wrestle
For those keeping up with WWE’s international business endeavors, especially with rumors/reports that international developmental territories like NXT Germany are in the works, the loan of Tozawa is an interesting development. For wrestling fans in general, hey, this is a good-looking show!