British standout Zack Sabre, Jr. is set to make his New Japan Pro Wrestling debut on March 6th against Revolution Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata. Sabre, Jr. received his largest exposure to date this past summer when he appeared as a featured competitor on the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament. Sabre, Jr., considered an insider favorite to win the tournament, lost in the semi-finals to Gran Metalik. It has been suggested that this decision was made after Sabre decided against signing an exclusive deal with the WWE. Zack Sabre, Jr. is also prominently featured in Southern California super-indy Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he is currently their reigning World Heavyweight Champion.
Previously announced for the card is Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi) in the main event. Okada is a featured star on the Tiger Mask W anime and the main event looks to continue tying the anime storylines to New Japan programming. Ibushi, as Tiger Mask W, remains undefeated in New Japan after defeating anime rivals Tiger The Dark (A.C.H.) and Red Death Mask (Juice Robinson). The match with Okada signifies the first occurrence of reality imitating art imitating reality and is likely heading towards further integration of New Japan wrestlers into the anime storylines. There is already speculation that Tiger Mask W’s main event slot will likely lead to an eventual program with the leader of the Bullet Club, and former partner, Kenny Omega.
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s 45th Anniversary show will stream live with English & Japanese commentary at http://www.njpwworld.com