Smooth’s Court is a column from Walter Yeates that will feature multiple weekly entries, including commentary from Walter on current and past events in the world of professional wrestling. This entry looks at the talent within the United States that would be good long-term additions to New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s (NJPW) New Japan of America (NJoA) branch.
Since NJPW began producing a weekly program on the New Japan World streaming service, the potential for growth in the United States has been at an all-time high in the company. With the New Japan Strong program being at the forefront of the new content model, a slew of wrestlers have made their debut in an NJPW ring.
Some of the new talents already seen have an opportunity to make a long-term impact within New Japan of America (NJoA) and NJPW, while several names on the United States independent scene could become future fixtures within the promotion.
Danny Limelight has already made an impression, advancing to the finals of Lion’s Break Crown tournament finals. Limelight has also impressed against Rocky Romero, putting himself as a potential Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ) participant.
With his stock raising around the United States, NJPW may have to make a quick move for Limelight to ensure they can utilize him during the upcoming years.
“All Heart” Blake Christian
Blake Christian is another impressive junior heavyweight that would fit in perfectly with a BOSJ tournament. Christian also has the potential to develop into a performer that could tell emotional stories with a number of the NJPW regulars who participate in tours within Japan.
With his athletic ability and innovative offense, Christian is someone who could be a long-term asset to NJPW.
Barrett Brown is a junior heavyweight that has made a good showing for himself with NJoA and has become a regular for the North American brand. Along with many others on the list, Brown would add depth to the division, provide fresh matchups, and be a solid member of the touring group in Japan.
Logan and Sterling Riegel are consistent NJoA regulars. The Riegel Twins would make an instant impact within the junior heavyweight tag team division in the main NJPW branch in Japan.
Their experience as a tag team and familiarity with NJPW would make for a seamless transition. The team has the potential to become stalwarts of the division, adding a fresh team to the title picture that could become a long-term fixture in the company.
Jordan Clearwater is at the point where he could spend time in the NJPW Dojo system, or become a full member of the roster. However, he has the potential to make a name for himself, especially if he continues to show his personality inside the ring.
“The Apex of Combat” Lee Moriarty
Lee Moriarty is one of the top talents on the United States independent wrestling circuit. Over the past few years, few have matched his match quality on the circuit within the country, nor do many have his potential.
On social media, Lee has expressed the desire to wrestle in Japan. Moriarty would immediately find a place within the junior heavyweight division, possibly having career-making matches against the likes of former three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) member, Hiromu Takahashi.
Moriarty’s style would also match up well against CHAOS member and one-half of Roppongi 3K, Sho. Numerous promotions are likely scouting Moriarty, meaning a move may be necessary shortly if NJPW would like to secure his services for the next several years.
Bstrd Cassidy is the perfect candidate to land in the NJPW LA Dojo and learn under former three-time NEVER Openweight Champion, IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion (w/Hirooki Goto), and Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro) Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata at Championship while developing into an important member of the NJPW roster.
Cassidy is a wrestler to watch over the next several years as he provides something different on the United States independent circuit.