#GlobalWarsUK: The Lay of the Land, Part One

The shape of Global Wars UK has changed a little from last year, but the lineup is looking set to be just as stacked, if not more so. We take a look at some of those confirmed so far and some dream matches that may now be on the table.

Last year, the first Global Wars UK event was something of a “little brother” show to the annual Uprising supershow. The collaboration between Revolution Pro and New Japan Pro Wrestling would be the start of something big though, and this year Global Wars UK returns as a two-day event, at York Hall on Thursday November 10th and Walthamstow Assembly Hall the next night. It definitely doesn’t seem like either side will be pulling any punches with the talent being made available for the shows, and the names already announced have us champing at the bit for the next two and a half months to get out of the way fast.

Note: Italicised names in the “Ideal Opponents/Matches” sections have not been confirmed for Global Wars UK at this time and are simply there as a result of us being unable to control our intense lust for the potential of certain matches. We’re sure you understand.

Jushin Thunder Liger

The first name confirmed for Global Wars UK does have history with RevPro. Debuting for the promotion against Prince Devitt back in 2013, Liger would return for last year’s NJPW weekender to a hero’s welcome in York Hall. Teaming up with Hiroshi Tanahashi to face Gedo and Kazuchika Okada at Uprising before squaring off with AJ Styles the next night, his past appearances certainly show that RevPro is willing to pull out all the stops to deliver a true dream match when he’s in town. This year will be no different we’re sure, but with him squaring off solely with fellow NJPW talent last year we’re hoping that he gets to tie it up with Britain’s best and brightest this time around.

Ideal Opponents: Pete Dunne; Trent Seven; Mark Haskins

Tomoaki Honma

Mr. Kokeshi was the first name announced for this year’s weekender that has never wrestled in the United Kingdom before. Tomoaki Honma has been something of a crowd favourite in recent years, both in singles competition (particularly during the G1 Climax, where Honma has something of a tumultuous history at best) and as a tag team with Togi Makabe. If Makabe is also in attendance at this year’s shows, then it could open up a lot of very interesting potential tag matches, but right now Tomoaki Honma already has a lot of wrestlers with whom he could tear the house down from NJPW and RevPro alike.

Ideal Opponents: Katsuyori Shibata; Tomohiro Ishii; Big Daddy Walter

Michael Elgin

Before it became apparent that he could well be heading off to Orlando, it certainly seemed like RevPro could be building to a clash between Big Damo and Michael Elgin. It doesn’t seem the Beast of Belfast will be sticking around long enough for that clash to take place at these shows, but luckily there’s still a hell of a lot of talent on the table for the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

Ideal Opponents: Josh Bodom; Trent Seven; Martin Stone

Trent Seven

He’s already featured in the “Ideal Opponents” section for two of the NJPW names at this year’s Global Wars, and there’s a very good reason for that. Since his RevPro debut back in May, Trent Seven has been delivering in some great matches on the company’s London Cockpit shows. Global Wars UK will see the Moustache Mountain man make his York Hall debut, and off the back of some superb performances against Mark Haskins and Zack Sabre Jr amongst others, he looks set to make a big splash when New Japan comes to town. Last year’s NJPW weekender played a big part in Will Ospreay’s signing to the promotion, and Seven is precisely the kind of British talent that can emulate that impact if he gets the right matches this year.

Ideal Opponents: Jushin Thunder Liger; Tomohiro Ishii; ReDRagon (with Tyler Bate)

Will Ospreay & Zack Sabre Jr.

The current reigning British Cruiserweight and Heavyweight Championship holders are likely to have a huge couple of days when Global Wars UK rolls around. With Ospreay also appearing on Ring of Honor’s UK tour less than a fortnight later, the month of November could be massive for him in particular. If Ospreay still holds gold in RPW come that time — a matter that’s still up in the air with him facing Pete Dunne in what is now a huge grudge match after the events of Uprising — then he could be on a course to have a pair of matches just as big as the two he had at last year’s events. With Sabre, there is definitely grounds for Shibata to have a second crack at the British Heavyweight Championship, but there’s a lot more that RPW could cook up in the coming months.

Ideal Matches: Will Ospreay vs. Kushida; Zack Sabre Jr vs. Katsuyori Shibata; Zack Sabre Jr vs. Chris Hero; Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito

Chris Hero

The announcement of Chris Hero came something out of left field, but there’s no card in the world that he wouldn’t be welcome on. There are a heap of potential never-before-seen matches here that could blow the roof off any building they happened in, and whatever he’s doing at Global Wars UK we’re all in for a treat. Fresh off what may well be the best RPW match of the year so far with Marty Scurll, we can’t wait to see who he shares the ring with this November. And we highly doubt you can either.

Ideal Opponents: Tomohiro Ishii; Katsuyori Shibata; Michael Elgin

Los Ingobernables de Japon

It’s looking like L.I.J. will have a big presence at this year’s Global Wars UK double header. With Tetsuya Naito already announced to be making his return, today’s announcement of SANADA has got us hotly anticipating BUSHI and EVIL to join them amongst the confirmed names. Naito has had an absolutely standout year in New Japan, doing a fantastic job filling the void of those who departed the promotion after Wrestle Kingdom 10. It is likely that he’ll be filling the void once again as a key name on these shows. With Los Ingobernables in tow, it’s best to be prepared for anything.

Ideal Matches: Naito & BUSHI vs. Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay; Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr; SANADA vs. Trent Seven


Who’s Next?

It’s very likely that we’ve not even scratched the surface when it comes to the talent on this year’s shows just yet. With just two days to cram the talent into it’s bound to be the case that some names will slip through the cracks, but there is a whole lot to be excited for already. With three months left, we’re bound to be revisiting this a whole bunch more between now and Global Wars UK, because we’re at the tip of the iceberg right now. Last year’s RPW/NJPW double header was crazy in itself, but Rev Pro will be out to top it this year for sure. Expect Okada, Tanahashi and Shibata to all return, along with this year’s G1 Climax winner Kenny Omega and more of Bullet Club in tow. On the British side the likes of Ryan Smile, Tyler Bate and Martin Kirby would be fantastic to see on board. Tag teams like ReDRagon and the Young Bucks who will almost certainly be available ahead of the Ring of Honor tour would be very smart additions. These are going to be two very loaded shows whatever happens, but we can’t wait to see who’s next.