American Stars Reportedly Will Miss Next Few Upcoming New Japan Tours

The Young Bucks and Michael Elgin are contracted to New Japan Pro Wrestling, but it may be a few months before they return to the Land of the Rising Sun to compete for that promotion.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter recently reported the Bucks may not return to Japan until August, while Elgin also is not scheduled to be part of the next few upcoming tours. The news about the Young Bucks' hiatus is a bit of a surprise considering that the Best of the Super Juniors tournament will be taking place in June. The Observer cited the overall size of the NJPW roster as the main factor in the three American wrestlers not being used; New Japan's roster expanded with the return of the Suzuki-gun faction, which had been on a prolonged excursion to Pro Wrestling NOAH when those two promotions were working together. 

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Elgin is a former NJPW Intercontinental Champion who has competed in the past few G-1 Climax tournaments. In an exclusive interview with back in December, Elgin talked about how much he enjoyed working for New Japan:

"... Nobody's trying to be anyone else over there. I'm Michael Elgin, and that is special over there. Tanahashi is Tanahashi, and that's special over there. Naito is Naito, and that's special over there. I can go on and on and on. ... There's a little bit of a better reaction, I would say, in Japan. It's because I do my stuff and nobody else does it. Because nobody has to, because they know who they are as a wrestler. And I think as a whole in pro wrestling, that's something that's kind of missing in the States, and maybe that's why some places have a problem garnering a following or even a wrestler has a problem garnering a following. Because they're just imitating something rather than trying to find themselves. I think that's what helped me in Japan. I always knew who I wanted to be and who I was, but now people get to see it in such a different light, because, as I said, everybody else knows who they are, too."

The Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson, also have enjoyed significant success in New Japan. Part of the Bullet Club, they have won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles five times and won the promotion's Super Juniors Tag Tournament in 2013. 

The Observer speculated that the overall size of the NJPW roster is one reason the promotion is considering starting an American circuit in 2018.


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