Photo Credit: Beyond Gorilla
On March 8th during the first show of the 2019 New Japan Cup, a surprise video package aired without warning which showed the signature light-up glasses and handsome face of one of the best talents on the UK independent scene today, El Phantasmo, announcing that was coming soon to New Japan and joining the world-renowned Bullet Club.
For those that haven’t had the pleasure of witnessing how talented this man is, here’s everything you need to know about the newest edition to NJPW’s junior division.
Notable Achievements and Interesting Info
- RevPro’s British J Cup 2018 winner: given that RevPro is one of NJPW’s partner companies, the only other winner of the tournament is Jushin Thunder Liger, and that Phantasmo actually beat Liger during the tourney, it’s fair to say he will be a big deal in New Japan’s junior division.
- Thirteen year veteran.
- Won several championships in his native Canada.
- Sadly, ELP has had to endure some hardships which delayed his career severely.
- In 2012, he was set to perform and train in America for the first time with the likes of Kyle O’Reilly, but was unfortunately turned away at border control in the US as the patrol officer suspected he was trying to move there illegally, and believed he could not prove that he had any plans on returning back to Canada once his trip was up. This has prevented him from working in the US ever since.
- Not long after this incident, ELP was involved in a serious motorcycle crash (completely not his fault) which took over a year of intense rehabilitation to recover from. Police stated that they had never seen somebody walk away from a crash that bad. Despite this, from watching him in the ring with his smooth movements and incredible balance, you would have no idea that this injury still causes problems for him to this day.
- Like many Canadian wrestlers, Phantasmo had emigration issues for many years. His career was finally able to take off when he was granted access to the UK in 2017. He has since been working extensively here since.
- In the last two years, he has worked for companies such as PROGRESS, RevPro, Defiant, OTT and more, where he has wrestled some of the biggest names in British and Japanese wrestling.
- Previously, El Phantasmo wore a mask, hence where the luchador/White Zombie inspired name came from. When he took off the mask, he decided to keep the name.
- On a personal note, El Phantasmo is practically the reason why one of my best friends is now a fan of live pro wrestling, he’s also my nephew’s favourite wrestler, a personal favourite of my own (which is why I included him in my list of amazing unsigned wrestlers), and from the interactions I’ve had, a very nice person too, so to see his hard work pay off is wonderful to see.
- Pro wrestler isn’t the only interesting job El Phantasmo has had. Up until 2017, he was an editor for an animation company that produces content for shows such as Rick and Morty, TMNT and more. He personally worked on cartoons such as All Hail King Julien, Dinotrux, and Mother Up. He left this cool, stable job to pursue wrestling outside of Canada.
- He’s a big fan of New Japan.
- NJPW commentator Kevin Kelly is a big fan of his work after seeing him perform for RevPro, as discussed during my interview with the man himself.
- With a name like El Phantasmo, its no surprise that his in-ring style is heavily inspired by lucha libre.
- He has some of the best flips I have ever seen, something which he employs a lot during his matches.
- He’s known for doing combinations of moves very fluidly, e.g. performing a Swanton Bomb from one turnbuckle corner then immediately leaping up and moonsaulting off the opposite corner.
- He has impressive balance which means he spends a lot of time walking across the ropes (sometimes around the entire ring) which often ends in a springboard attack.
- ELP is surprisingly strong which he uses with hard chops and impressive power moves.
- Pretty much a walking video game character.
Why He’s a Great Addition to Bullet Club
- El Phantasmo is effortlessly cool and entertaining. His personality, great look, fantastic entrance and captivating in-ring style will bring new fans to Bullet Club.
- There’s a chance he may form a tag team with Robbie Eagles, and can help back up Taiji Ishimori.
- He can represent the group outside of Japan in the UK scene, something which no other BC member currently does.
- As he is largely unknown outside of Canada and Europe, particularly in the company’s home nation, ELP can be molded into a great representation for the group.
- ELP is more new blood for this current iteration of Bullet Club that can assist in the latest chapter of the long-running group’s history.
- He doesn’t have to be a full-time roster member, and can be brought in for tournaments or whenever he is required if needs be.
What You Can Expect From Him in New Japan
- Given that his hype video debuted on the first show of the biggest New Japan Cup of all time, it’s clear that the company has a lot of hope for him. To build anticipation for him in this way will ensure excitement for his debut, and is a sign that he will most likely get some great opportunities.
- He’s being brought in as a member of Bullet Club, the most well-known group in New Japan and current holders of the IWGP Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Championships – if that isn’t a sign of how much potential they see in him, I don’t know what is.
- Hopefully he will be a big name in the junior heavyweight division.
- His size would make him eligible for a transition into the heavyweight division at some point down the line, and would be a good contender for the NEVER Openweight Championship like we’ve seen with Will Ospreay recently.
- Expect to see him compete in the Best of Super Juniors tournament in May, where he will no doubt put on a great performance.
- Later in the year, it is likely he will be in the Super Jr Tag League too.
- Defiant’s Ringmaster Finals 2018 (Good example of the different things ELP can do)
- Vs. David Starr, Tiger Mask IV and Taiji Ishimori – Strong Style Evolved UK 2018
- Vs. Senza Volto – German Wrestling Federation
- Vs. Kyle O’Reilly – ECCW 2017
Follow ELP on Twitter – @ELPWrestling
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