Taylor Adams is the latest in a long line of New Zealanders to lace their boots in Japan. The 23-year-old is currently two weeks into a two-month stay in Chiba, approximately 40km southeast of Tokyo.
Adams is training with Kaientai Dojo (K-Dojo), the home of former WWE Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku.
“I was super young when [Michinoku] was in WWE so I didn’t watch him every week but I’ve gone back and watched him,” Adams said. “I’m excited to learn from him and get his perspective on the business, especially since he’s wrestled in America and Japan.”
Most Kiwis would confirm the finer details of their trip before booking flights to Japan. Adams did the exact opposite.
“I just booked my flight on a whim, pretty much,” he told NZPWI. “I booked it and sort of backed myself into a corner. Once the flight’s booked I have to make this work.”
With failure now a costly option, Adams put out feelers to several promotions around Japan. After a brief back-and-forward, he decided on Taka Michinoku and K-Dojo.
“The communication I had with them was real limited because of the language barrier,” Adams said. “They were just like, ‘Just show up’. I was worried it’d turn into one of those horror stories you hear in wrestling when you get there and the company’s closed.”
Far from finding a closed company, Adams wrestled his first match on December 4 – two days after arriving in Japan. He filled in for Yuma, a K-Dojo regular, on the winning side of an eight-man tag team bout at well-known Tokyo venue Shinkiba 1st Ring, Puroresu Spirit reports.
Adams’ next matches are scheduled for this weekend, as well as a 10-man tag team bout on Christmas Day. He returns to New Zealand in early February.