NJPW’s grand return to the United Kingdom for Royal Quest III promises to be an electrifying night of pro-wrestling action. The event’s main attraction features a thrilling showdown between two of Britain’s finest talents, Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay, as they vie for supremacy and the coveted IWGP UK (US) Championship.
In addition to this epic clash, the event’s stacked card boasts the highly-anticipated return of Taiji Ishimori and the fate of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships hangs in the balance.
With plenty more exciting bouts and surprises in store, Royal Quest III is set to be an unforgettable night of wrestling excellence on Saturday October 14 from the Copper Box, London.
Royal Quest III Full Card (October 14, 2023):
- Robbie X vs Taiji Ishimori
- El Desperado vs Trent Seven
- Yota Tsuji vs Luke Jacobs
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Cameron Khai & Leon Slater vs Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney (BULLET CLUB War Dogs) (C)
- 6 Man Tag Match: El Phantasmo, Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga (Guerrillas of Destiny) vs David Finlay, Gabe Kidd & Alex Coughlin
- Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs Francesco Akira & Great-O-Khan (United Empier)
- SANADA & Douki (Just 5 Guys) vs Testuya Naito & Bushi (LIJ)
- 6 Man Tag Match: Michael Oku, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Eddie Kingston vs TJP, Jeff Cobb & HENARE (United Empire)
- Shingo Takagi vs Tomohiro Ishii
- Main event: IWGP United Kingdom (US) Championship Match： Zack Sabre Jr. (NJPW World TV Champion) vs Will Ospreay (C)
Below find the preview os some of the matches:
The opening match is an interesting match up due to one of the most stunning surprises to arise from the action-packed night of October 9 in Ryogoku was the resurgence of Taiji Ishimori. Having been sidelined due to a neck injury sustained during the Best of the Super Jr. 30, Ishimori has made his triumphant return, determined to reclaim his throne atop the junior heavyweight division. Embarking on this journey in London, he squares off against the formidable junior heavyweight contender, Robbie X. Notably, at last year’s Royal Quest, Robbie X teamed up with the current British Heavyweight Champion, Michael Oku. Now, in his first singles match in NJPW, the former cruiserweight champion aims to take significant strides towards the coveted RevPro gold and to capture the attention of the discerning IWGP committee.
Next, in an unprecedented clash, we witness El Desperado taking on Trent Seven in their first-ever singles showdown. Trent Seven, a former WWE NXT talent, has been a lightning rod for controversy and has set British audiences on fire since his return to the wrestling circuit. There’s no question that when pitted against one of the most cherished members of Strong Style, the crowd’s allegiance is bound to fall firmly in El Desperado’s corner. However, as a golden opportunity to command the attention of Japan presents itself, a victory over El Desperado could propel Trent Seven to new heights in his career. No doubt, he’ll be relentlessly pursuing victory, no matter the cost, as he seeks to make a resounding impact in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After a shocking turn of events, Drilla Moloney severed ties with the United Empire and joined forces with BULLET CLUB’s War Dogs back in June. Moloney and his partner, Clark Connors, wasted no time in making a resounding statement. They secured a remarkable victory over Catch 2/2 at Korakuen Hall, clinching the coveted IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Their triumph was swiftly followed by a successful title defense the very next night against Rocky Romero and YOH. Fast forward three months, and the duo demonstrated that their winning ways were far from over by defeating Kevin Knight and KUSHIDA in Ryogoku. Nevertheless, Moloney still has some unresolved issues with his former friend, Leon Slater. After Drilla’s defection to BULLET CLUB, a feeling of betrayal left Slater yearning for closure. He ultimately found it at RevPro’s XI Anniversary event, securing a momentous victory over Moloney. Now, he has teamed up with another rising star, Cameron Khai, for a shot at the championship. With the support of the hometown crowd and a golden opportunity knocking on their door, could this be the setup for a remarkable upset?
Another match on the card will see the Wrestle Kingdom 18 Main Event clash on opposite sides in this tag team encounter. Following SANADA’s triumphant recapture of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship with a monumental victory over EVIL on October 9 in Ryogoku and Tetsuya Naito’s impressive win over Jeff Cobb in Kobe on September 24, the main event for Wrestle Kingdom 18 is now firmly established. The former Los Ingobernables De Japon partners, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito, are poised to engage in an epic showdown at the Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2024. At Royal Quest III, we’ll witness the very first official glimpse of this impending clash as they team up in tag team action. The Copper Box arena will be the stage where these two teams aim to make a bold first impression on the Road to Wrestle Kingdom. The anticipation is high, and the answer to which duo will set the tone for this colossal encounter awaits in the Copper Box arena.
The Semi Main event clash between Shingo and Ishii is an exciting one. Ever since Shingo Takagi boldly ascended to the heavyweight division of NJPW during the 2019 G1 Climax, it became evident that he and Tomohiro Ishii were destined for a series of intensely brutal confrontations. In the four years that followed, the Dragon and the Stone Pitbull have engaged in six fierce one-on-one clashes, with each meeting serving as a no-nonsense display of sheer havoc, courtesy of two of the most ferocious heavy-hitters in the wrestling world. Now, at Royal Quest III, the stage is set for their first encounter outside of Japan and could even steal the show from the Main Event.
Speaking off the Main event, few choices could be more fitting for the main event of NJPW’s return to the UK than the continuation of a longstanding singles rivalry between two individuals who have been instrumental in shaping British wrestling and its deep-rooted connection to Japan throughout the past decade. The influence of Wigan’s legendary shooters, including the likes of Billy Robinson and Karl Gotch, on Japan during the 1960s and ’70s has solidified the reverence held for British wrestlers in the Land of the Rising Sun. In their relentless efforts to resurrect and revitalize the once-dormant British wrestling scene on a global scale, Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay have risen to become iconic and immensely influential figures worldwide. What makes this rivalry all the more compelling is the stark contrast between these two remarkable individuals. The latest chapter in their rivalry saw Sabre controversially securing a submission victory over Ospreay during the 2022 New Japan Cup.
From the early stages of their careers, Sabre rekindled a classical grappling style reminiscent of the days of the old Snake Pit, while Ospreay brought an electrifying blend of bombast and spectacle. This dichotomy isn’t unlike the legendary Tanahashi and Okada feud within NJPW’s domestic realm. Today, Ospreay proudly carries the moniker of the best in the world, even going as far as renaming the IWGP United States title to the IWGP UK belt to proudly represent his roots. Simultaneously, it’s Sabre who, with 14 successful title defenses and counting, has quietly become one of the most accomplished champions in the modern era of NJPW, proving his mettle against formidable opponents like Bryan Danielson in Seattle. Sabre is now prepared to hoist the flag as the foreign Ace of the King of Sports, be it against international talents or, in this case, Ospreay tonight. In this main event, pride, an intensely competitive rivalry, and the iconic red and gold championship are all on the line. It’s a compelling argument that the title of the world’s best professional wrestler today is also at stake.
You can watch the show live on RevPro On Demand! Then also on NJPW World shortly after.
Author: Rohit Singh Karir