In a surprising revelation during a video chat with lead NJPW English commentator, Kevin Kelly, LA Dojo young lion, Karl Fredericks reveals he was originally planned to make his official call-up to the New Japan roster as a regular member earlier this year at the New Japan against KENTA until the pandemic postponed the event.
In 2018, NJPW opened the LA Dojo with lead trainer Katsuyori Shibata in charge to further expand the reach of New Japan Pro Wrestling into the English speaking fan-base. In 2019, the NJPW Young Lion Cup featured the best of the LA Dojo, NJPW Dojo and Fale Dojo in a competition to find the best of the young lions. Karl Fredericks won narrowly over Shota Umino, Ren Narita, and others.
Karl Fredericks, now sporting a more flashy persona, tells Kevin Kelly as he was preparing for KENTA in the original plans of New Japan Cup before the virus halted the timeline. In the upcoming Lion’s Break Collision, Karl Fredericks will tag with TJP vs Rocky Romero and Jeff Cobb for a special weekly feature for those who are in the states that still can’t travel back to Japan.
At 6’1” and 223 pounds, Karl could be a great fit for a NEVER Openweight field that could use some young blood. It will be fascinating to see the persona that Karl brings to the NJPW roster in the near future. This is the first Young Lion to break away from the Shibata led training LA Dojo that also includes stars like Clark Connors, Alex Coughlin, Gabriel Kidd and newly transitioned Ren Narita. The investment in Karl Fredericks and the LA Dojo is immense as NJPW continues to look to expand into the English speaking world. There is no doubt a lot will ride on this transition to the main roster for Karl Fredericks.
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