Rocky Romero, the 8x IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion in NJPW with Roppongi Vice, No Remorse Corp, and Forever Hooligans, dropped a bombshell on Monday morning, announcing that Aussie indie star Mikey Nicholls, formerly known as Nick Miller of The Mighty in NXT, had joined CHAOS and would be debuting in New Japan as part of the New Japan Cup in March.
— Rocky Romero🇵🇷 (@azucarRoc) February 25, 2019
The announcement was followed shortly after by New Japan, who revealed that Nicholls’ first-round matchup would be against a returning Hikuleo, the younger brother of Bullet Club‘s Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Leo) and youngest son of WWE/WCW Legend Haku. Hikuleo has been out of action since March of 2018 due to injury.
Cards for 9th March – NEW JAPAN CUP 2019 released:
Kazuchika Okada vs Michael Elgin
Mikey Nicholls vs Hikuleo
Will Ospreay vs Bad Luck Fale
Toa Henare vs Lance Archer
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) February 25, 2019
It marks Nicholls’ return to a major promotion since he was released from the WWE back in December to be closer to his wife and newborn child in Australia. Earlier this month, he made his triumphant return to the Australian indies, when he faced JK Moody at Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW)‘s Uprising.
Nicholls is no stranger to Japan. Prior to him and tag partner Shane Haste (now known as Shane Thorne in NXT) joining NXT in 2016, the duo then known as The Mighty Don’t Kneel were one of Japan’s best tag teams, winning the GHC Tag Team titles twice in Pro Wrestling NOAH, being named the best tag team in Japan in 2013 by Tokyo Sports. The March 9 match at New Japan Cup will also mark Nicholls’ first match back with NJPW since The Mighty Don’t Kneel teamed with NOAH Ace Noamichi Marufuji and NJPW’s Toru Yano to defeat Suzuki-gun‘s Shelton Benjamin, the recently retired Takashi Iizuka and the Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in 2015.