Rumors and reports out of Japan for the past year has built to the inevitable announcement of NXT’s next foray of expansion, after the launch of NXT UK last fall. While WWE has apparently failed in recent attempts to purchase Pro Wrestling NOAH to help establish the NXT Japan roster, reports are coming in that WWE may be close to finalizing their training crew and may have landed their first two stars. The latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has some interesting news on who is reportedly heading to the WWE’s Eastern representative.
Meiko Satomura is regarded as one of the best pro wrestlers on the planet period, and the WWE Universe got a glimpse of the joshi legend at last year’s Mae Young Classic. Trained by All Japan Women‘s icon Chigusa Nagayo in 1995, she started with GAEA before leaving to start her own promotion, Sendai Girls. She was briefly a part of WCW’s Women’s Division in the mid-90s. She’s been a guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center in the past and has reportedly been signed for a while now.
Another name that has been mentioned in previous rumblings as well as the WON, is Big Japan‘s main star, Daisuke Sekimoto joining Meiko as one of the head trainers. If Sekimoto is officially announced, it could be in partnership with Big Japan helping stock NXT Japan as well, as Big Japan Wrestling has been another rumored target acquisition by WWE (although at this stage, anyone but New Japan has been rumored). Sekimoto is a 4x BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion and a solid grappler, a perfect choice to bring credibility to NXT Japan’s training crew alongside Meiko.
JIRO “IKEMAN” KUROSHIO
Jiro “Ikeman” Kuroshio is only 27-years old, but he’s been one of the stars for Wrestle-1 from 2014 through early 2019 when he surprising left the company claiming he was headed to the USA. In the past few months, his name has popped up in reports that he was being courted by WWE, and now it appears he could be one of the top faces for NXT Japan. Trained by former WWE Superstar Taijiri in 2011, he’s also worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW).
Sareee is one of the top joshi wrestlers in Japan right now and she’s been on WWE’s radar for a while now – when the WWE was in Japan this past September, she was courted by Triple H himself. In an interview with Tokyo Sports last month, she said she was “inspired by Triple H. I want to take my professional wrestling to the world.” She’s a former Sendei Girls World Champion and is the reigning 2x World Woman Pro-Wrestling DIANA Champion. At only 23 years old, she’s already a star waiting to shine. Sareee is expected to headline NXT Japan’s women’s division.
Another move made earlier this year was the hiring of former Japan star Kendo Kashin as a trainer at the WWE Performance Center. Kendo Kashin is a graduate from the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo in 1992, initially competing under his real name Tokimitsu Ishizawa, and was a breakout star with NJPW’s Junior Heavyweight division in the mid-1990s. In 1996, he went on his excursion, heading to Austria’s prestigious Catch Wrestling Association (CWA), where he won the CWA Junior Heavyweight title. He returned to NJPW as the now masked Kendo Kashin, winning the Young Lions Cup in 1996 in a final against Yuji Nagata. In 1999, he won NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors, en route to two reigns as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. He also won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles with Dr. Wagner Jr.
In 2002, he departed NJPW for rival All Japan while still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, in a shocking defection, where he quickly won the AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship. He held the title for nearly two years (669 days) as the company’s Ace of the junior heavyweights, as well as capturing the AJPW World Tag Team titles with his New Japan rival Nagata. In 2005, he made his US debut, competing in the Ring of Honor Best of American Super Juniors (as Dragon Soldier B) as well as with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG). Shortly after his US debut, he took a hiatus from pro wrestling.
He returned in 2007, joining Antonio Inoki’s new Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), and in 2014, he returned to All Japan and made his debut with DDT Pro, both of which he still performed for up until his hiring in August. This past February he had a guest trainer spot and its quite possible that Kashin is in Orlando learning to apply the “WWE methods” into the Japanese style, much like how NXT UK’s Johnny Saint was a trainer in Orlando for several months prior to the launch of NXT UK.
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