- Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Rionne, please introduce yourself give the readers a summary of yourself and your career so far??
My name is Rionne Fujiwara, the only foreigner in the history of Japanese pro wrestling to be officially christened in the ring with a Japanese surname. I was born in Australia to an English father and Australian mother, and hold citizenship for both the UK and my native Australia.
I wrestled shoot legend Yoshiaki Fujiwara on October 31st, 2013 and despite losing, I impressed him enough to earn a place in his Fujiwara Gumi (group) and he gave me his last name for good measure.
I debuted for Wrestling New Classic under former WWE superstar Yoshihiro Tajiri, and then moved on to The Great Muta’s promotion Wrestle 1. In July this year I decided to become a freelance wrestler and have been wrestling for different promotions since.
- You are from Sydney, NSW, Australia, how was it growing up in Australia, did you like wrestling as a child or did you like it late on and if so who inspired you to become a wrestler??
I wouldn’t trade growing up in Australia for anything. The first wrestling event I saw was WrestleMania III on VHS, although it was some years after the show had happened. Around 1990 I saw it. Steamboat vs Macho Man stick out as the first guys that got me into wrestling. Then it was the attitude era later on and in particular Shawn Michaels who inspired me to want to be a wrestler.
- You are from Australia but you wrestle in Japan and were trained by ex- WWE star the Japanese Buzzsaw TAJIRI, AKIRA and Yoshiaki Fujiwara, how did you get involved with training with these men, how was the experience and how is it living in Japan was it a shock when you came over compared to your native Australia??
My story is rather unique. I was kickboxing here in Tokyo and one of the students in the gym was a fortune teller. She offered to read my palms and do my tarot cards. I don’t believe in that kind of stuff but since she was offering it for free, I thought why not? She went on to say that the path I was taking in life was not the right one, and asked me what I really wanted to do. I had always been a wrestling fan since I was a little kid, and I said “well I always wanted to be a pro wrestler”. It turns out she was friends with Akira and introduced us. The rest is history.
- Going back to the subject of Australia, you see the likes of Emma going over to the WWE and making it over there, is this something you want to do in the future and do you think that the current state of Wrestling has improved over there due to increased exposure??
WWE is always any wrestlers ultimate goal, but I am happy in Japan for the moment. There are so many talented Australian wrestlers that I am sure we will see a true Australian superstar in the WWE before too long. Don’t forget, Australia had one of the biggest NWA territories back in the 60’s and 70’s, and was often a 3-6 month stop for a lot of guys from the US and the UK. So wrestling has always been big in Australia, but it did die down for a while but I think we are about to have a comeback of very big proportions. The talent is there for sure.
- You mentioned you have wrestled for Wrestle-1, WNC, as well as Dradition Pro Wrestling and others while over in Japan. Do you think that working with quality talent in Japan has really made you improve and seeing how popular NJPW are currently do you think that Japanese Wrestling will just continue to improve in popularity??
Definitely. The Japanese standard of wrestling is the best in the business. Depending on what kind of product you like, you may not see it as the best kind of wrestling, but there is no question in my mind that the best workers in the world wrestle here in Japan. I am fortunate to be able to have wrestled with and against quite a few.
With New Japan launching their network, similar to the WWE network, NJPW will only grow. I can’t seeing it overtaking WWE, but it’s popularity will increase I think, yes.
Japan is an amazing place to learn your craft. The fans are amazing, and the level of competition is so high. Being from the west and growing up watching WWE, I would like to find a nice happy medium between American Pro Wrestling and Puro Wres though.
- Are you over in Japan permanently to live and wrestle or are you wanting to move elsewhere in the future such as America or even the UK??
For the moment, I am based in Japan. I would love to get back to the UK (where I have been twice this year to visit family) and wrestle there.
- Of course the name of this blog is TheBritishWrestlingRevival, would you consider coming over to the UK if given the chance in the future and if so have you got anyone in mind that you would want to face??
I really want to tour the UK. Being half English, I have been there many times before but would love to go there and wrestle. Some of the greatest wrestlers to have ever stepped in the ring came from the UK so it would be a massive honour to head over there.
The UK has so many fantastic wrestlers so I can’t really name just one, but I would love to work over there. In particular, I would love to check out Marty Jones’ Squared Circle Wrestling Academy, it looks amazing.
- What are your future ambitions in Wrestling?
Just to work hard in training and bust my ass in matches. Onwards and upwards!
- Where can the readers find Rionne Fujiwara and where can promoters book you??
Just my twitter account @IAmRionne
Thanks to Rionne for taking part in this interview and taking time out of his schedule to complete these, as a thank you please go and support him on social media and there will be more like this coming up only way to find out when they are out is by going to :
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