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    Monday, April 19, 2021

    Cafe Puro: Fantasy-Booking The WWE Releases In Japan

    The recent batch of WWE releases has brought up a question in my head: which Japanese company could the new free agents visit? Puroresu has much more exposure than it has before. A run in Japan could bring more eyes to these wrestlers than they had in WWE.

    As has been WWE tradition every time after Wrestlemania, the company releases a number of wrestlers for some spring cleaning. This year's case was different because WWE had to release wrestlers, supposedly, due to budget cuts. Sound familiar? Yeah. I think CM Punk was right.

    Anyway, this edition of Cafe Puro will discuss where the released wrestlers could land and where they might appear in Japan.

    1. Samoa Joe (Pro-Wrestling NOAH)

    Joe is no stranger to the puroresu scene. He has had stints in NOAH during his time in TNA and even won the GHC Tag Team belts with Magnus (now Nick Aldis). He even had the honor of facing the legendary Mitsuharu Misawa for a chance at the GHC Heavyweight Championship (now the prettiest Japanese wrestling belt post-IWGP World Heavyweight reveal).

    I would love to see Joe make a return to NOAH and take on the younger generation of wrestlers they have now. Imagine a Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Samoa Joe match or maybe a KENOH vs. Joe brawl? The possibilities are endless.

    There will be a ton of armchair GMs who would definitely slot in Joe to New Japan, but I don't see the appeal of him going there. Matches against NOAH wrestlers would simply feel more fun. 

    2. The Iiconics (TJPW)

    Everyone is going to say the pair of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce should be in Stardom just because they're the biggest joshi company now. I'll beg to differ. The Iiconics are a perfect match for TJPW's slate of comedic wrestling matches.

    Personally, I just feel like TJPW develops their characters better. Shoko Nakajima thinks she's a kaiju despite her petite height. Hyper Misao believes she's a superhero. Maki Itoh is a disgruntled idol. Yuka Sakazaki is a magical girl. Characters in Stardom just don't stand out as much as they do in Tokyo Joshi-Pro. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce can flex their comedic skills with the likes of Hyper Misao and Shoko Nakajima and then shift to a serious tone against the likes of Miyu Yamashita. 

    Stardom doesn't provide that kind of flexibility. Besides, imagine the hijinks the Iiconics they can get into trying to join Maki Itoh's NEO-ITOH RESPECT ARMY.

    3. Kalisto (Dragon Gate)

    The former Samuray del Sol can still go. He was simply not given the opportunity to showcase his wrestling skills. A return to Dragon Gate would give him that ring time he sorely desires. 

    I'm not too familiar with Dragon Gate wrestlers, but I am familiar with their high-flying style. We've already seen that Kalisto can go from 0-100 when he wants to, and being able to do that against the likes of Ultimo Dragon and others would be a great view.

    4. Chelsea Green (STARDOM)

    The former Knockouts Champion has had an interesting run in WWE. As much as I want to say she had a good run, she suffered injuries at the worst times of her stay with the company. Hopefully, she can stay healthy when competing in the indie circuit.

    I can easily see her slotting back in to IMPACT if they'll still take her. The Knockouts Division feels a little light at the moment and it would be fun to see Deonna Purazzo square up against the bride that lost her mind. 

    When it comes to wrestling in Japan, I would love to see Chelsea Green make a return to STARDOM. She doesn't need to be a crazy character. She can just wrestle and that's something she can do with stars like Giulia, all of DDM, Mayu Iwatani, anyone from Stars. Now that Stardom has a different batch of wrestlers from before, the matchup possibilities are endless. 

    Chelsea Green already participated in the Goddesses of Stardom tournament. I would love to see her dabble with a singles run in the Cinderella tournament for fun.

    5. Tucker Knight (DDT)

    Tucker Knight has proven he can be a great comedic wrestler after being part of skits with former tag partner Otis Dozovic. I feel like he can lean into the comedy even more by joining DDT as an occasional guest. 

    However, what makes DDT work so well is the fact that they don't just do funny matches. Tucker can show that he can also perform serious wrestling. He was able to wrestle as a serious character in NXT at times; I'm sure he can do it again. 

    It's Over for Now

    Where do you think the recent batch of WWE releases will go? There are so many companies to choose from unlike before. Share your thoughts below and let's start discussing!


    Steven Tan (@steviesaidyup) works for an e-commerce company by day and operates The Geeky Juans podcast and blog by night. He's a fan of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, comic books, and the Moomin franchise. You can find more of his geeky thoughts on Twitter.

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    Item Reviewed: Cafe Puro: Fantasy-Booking The WWE Releases In Japan Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Steven Maxwell Tan
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