Aaron Henare says United Empire is on the rise.
United Empire is one of the most prominent factions in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. The group features Henare, Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, Will Ospreay, TJP, Francesco Akira, Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis).Gideon Grey and Dan Moloney have also joined the stable. Multiple members of the group have held titles in the past. Currently, Davis and Fletcher hold both the IWGP and NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championship. Bullet Club is often viewed as NJPW's leading stable, but United Empire continues to build its reputation as well.
Speaking with Lewis Carlan of PWMania.com, Henare was asked whether he believes United Empire is the top faction in NJPW. He stated that they're moving up, and he pointed to the group's active presence around the world as a trait that sets them apart.
“I mean, we’re definitely moving up. Three years ago when we last talked Bullet Club would have been the top in the world no matter the company, whether it’s New Japan or whatever, the Bullet Club was reigning supreme. But that just sort of fizzled into nothingness, now it’s a little bit weird, and the United Empire guys, we’re all active. We're genuinely all active all over the world, whether it’s Australia or New Zealand or Japan or the boys are in AEW today, the Aussie boys, whether it’s Will holding it down in the UK or Akira wrestling in Europe, we’re the only faction in the world that are active everywhere in the world so I think that’s like some magic that no other faction in the world has and that’s the reason why we’ll call the United Empire," Henare said.
Ospreay has been out of action with a shoulder injury since March, but he has been cleared to compete at the 1PW event on April 22. Before the announcement, Henare was asked about the timeframe for Ospreay's return, and he commented on the former champion's injury. He also noted that his own career has gotten much better since he joined United Empire.
“I’m not sure, so I genuinely thought he just twinged the nerve in his neck to his shoulder. Turns out he told his whole pec. He kept wrestling like he did it was at the start of the match. I mean, we knew the two boys were going to smash each other because that’s that’s just what you do you want you and your brothers to have the hardest time so they come out the strongest at the end right? But he literally I saw him trying to lift his arm, and I thought oh man, he might have pumped his shoulder out. Turns out he pull his pec, but he kept going as well. I’m not sure we heard at the start it was going to be two weeks for it to repair, but it sounds like it’s a lot deeper ingrained injury than just a minor tear. We all miss him, man. This is a guy that’s been to every single continent every single major wrestling country in the world and hand-picked every single guy on the team so I’m happy he saw it in me because my my career has got a lot better since then. I think the best choice I made was to come over to the Empire,” Henare said.
Henare recently stated that he won't be part of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2. Click here to see what he had to say.
Ospreay has commented on his injuries and noted that he doesn't know how long this ride will be. Check out his comments here.
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