Robbie Eagles Makes a Successful New Japan Debut

Robbie Eagles of Jonestown, New South Wales, Australia, made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling on Tuesday, teaming with his new Bullet Club tag team partner Taiji Ishimori against NJPW Legends Tiger Mask IV and Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger in the first round of New Japan’s Junior Tag League tournament on the first night of the Road to Power Struggle Tour.

Eagles, a staple of New South Wales wrestling, and of Australian wrestling in general, has had a breakout 2018. Not only did he debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla earlier in the year, but he also participated in their prestigious Battle of Los Angeles tournament. Now, as he sets his foot onto even bigger stages, he transitions into a heel role, which he did not do much of in Australia. He played that part well, however, while still remaining true to the Robbie Eagles’ character, and not going too over the top with it. He also implemented his moniker of “The Sniper of the Skies” beautifully into his position as a member of the Bullet Club OG’s, utilizing lots of gun themed body language and hand signals. While much of his arsenal was muted—no doubt saving stuff for later in the tournament—he did use the rope walk into the double arm drag, as well as his snapmare slam. He was victorious in his first outing, submitting the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger in his debut, with an inverted figure four leg lock, after his partner Ishimori worked on Liger’s leg for a good chunk of the match. Eagles capitalized on the injured limb by hitting a 450 Splash from the top rope onto Liger’s leg before locking in the submission hold. Eagles looked good in the match, was crisp on everything and had no botches, and even got some good responses from a typically quieter Japanese crowd. Eagles getting the win for his team is not a happenstance detail. New Japan is often meticulous with these sorts of things, and the fact that it was on Liger, the legend of all legends in the Junior Heavyweight division, is not lost on them either.

Look for Eagles to make a bigger splash in the Junior Heavyweight division as a singles competitor down the road, as New Japan continues to add to it’s already astounding talent in that division. With New Japan having ran a tour of Australia earlier in the year, and rumors of them looking to do another one soon, it’s a smart plan for the company to start incorporating more and more talent from Oceania. Gino Gambino of Australia is technically a member of Firing Squad as well, and he and Eagles could be the first of several Aussie talent to get work for the company as it looks to expand Down Under. While no announcement of Eagles signing a contract as come out, expect him to get more and more work with Japan’s largest promotion going forward, and for him and Taiji Ishimori to make an impact on this year’s Junior Tag League tournament, heading into Power Struggle.

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