New Japan Pro Wrestling is a company built on traditions, and one of its longest-running customs has been to send members of its roster on learning excursions – extended trips to work in other promotions around the world in order to develop their characters, improve their grappling abilities, or just to have time away from NJPW fans so they can come back to the company with a new character or mentality. Although most wrestlers are sent on excursion during their days as a Young Lion (New Japan’s rookie wrestlers), some are sent away once they are a permanent graduate member of the NJPW roster to improve even further. But of all the many talents that have been sent abroad over the years by New Japan, which had the most successful journeys? Who was the biggest hit in their foreign promotions, and who made the biggest impacts upon their return? Let’s find out – here are the Top 10 Most Successful New Japan Pro Wrestling Excursions.
As somebody that adores New Japan Pro Wrestling, I absolutely love helping new and curious fans get into what I believe is the best quality grappling promotion in the world. In the past, I’ve written a beginner’s guide to the promotion’s biggest event, Wrestle Kingdom, and a guide to how to start watching NJPW. During my time trying to help New Japan Newbies, I’ve seen a few questions being asked repeatedly, both to myself and across social media and message boards: What is a “Young Lion”? Why are there wrestlers all wearing the exact same black boots and trunks? Why are people stood around the ring wearing red trousers and getting repeatedly beaten up?