Home > Uncategorized > Robbie Eagles Japan Blog #1: Korakuen Hall

Robbie Eagles Japan Blog #1: Korakuen Hall

July 4, 2012

Last night, I set foot into one of the most historic venues in all of Professional Wrestling history. Korakuen Hall in Japan has hosted memorable event with even more memorable matches. Names from all over the world have travelled to this very same building and set foot to the centre of the wooden but varnished flooring. These floorboards have had so many footsteps across them, footsteps belonging to the likes of Stan Hansen, Kenta Kobashi, and Yuji Nagata of Japanese Wrestling fame. Footsteps belonging to names like CM Punk, Paul London, Daniel Bryan (then Bryan Danielson) who are more known amongst today’s generation of wrestling fans. Now, you can add Robbie Eagles to that list.


I have been living here in Japan for under a week, five days to be exact. Since flying out from Sydney, Australia and landing in Tokyo, Japan everything has been a whirlwind of excitement. During my first day, I was fortunate enough to travel to the ZERO1 Dojo and see it firsthand. Something I had only seen my colleagues take photos from was now right in front of me. Simply amazed is the best way to describe how I felt at that moment.


Training at the ZERO1 Dojo is incredibly tough. I can understand why people have come in and left almost immediately. It’s not easy at all, and to say I’ve struggled on certain aspects of it would most likely be a huge understatement. I do pride myself on being mentally strong though, and if I don’t have the ability to complete every point of the training 100 percent right now, I know that by the end of this tour, if I’m still not at that 100 percent I would have drastically improved. There’s no backwards for me.


Meeting people I have watched from a computer screen is always a surreal thing. Upon my arrival, I was introduced to Ikuto Hidaka, legendary Japanese Junior Heavyweight wrestler. Someone whom I have tapes of dating back from 2002. I was twelve. Twelve years old when I started watching Hidaka. From there on, it was just name after name. Daichi Hashimoto, the son of late great Shinya Hashimoto, founder of ZERO1.


Stepping into the Korakuen Hall changing rooms on Thursday night after completing the set up of the Pro Wrestling ZERO1 ring, it still hadn’t quite set in. My mind still did not know exactly what I was about to accomplish. Sitting on the cold tile flooring, I looked up and one at a time, I met more familiar faces. Takeshi Morishima, Mohammed Yone & Naomichi Marafuji from Pro Wrestling NOAH came into the dressing room. So many moments where I could have easily just stood there in utter awe, but instead I had other focuses.


Before I knew it, I was dressed in my black trunks, completed by knee, elbow and kickpads. Green and yellow bandana in check, Official ZERO1 Australia t-shirt on and Australian Flag flowing behind my back, I stepped out through the big door hearing my music playing. With a roll, jumping turn and leaping fist pump, it was go time!


To kick off an event featuring Puroresu (Japanese Wrestling) stars from all over this continent was such an incredible feeling and absolute honour. Beside me in my tag team match for the evening was fellow Fighting Spirit Challenge winner, Marcus Bean from Toronto, Canada. He and I were representing our respective countries, showing exactly what we had to offer. Craig Classic from the USA but a resident of Japan and regular for ZERO1 teamed up with local boy Yoshikazu Yokoyama, and they were our opponents.


Powerful body slams, continuous elbow drops and Forearm shivers to my face, a Dropkick amongst other maneuvers, Classic and Yokoyama took it to Bean and I. I think it was the worst I had ever been tested in a contest that still had rules intact. Being in front of the Samurai TV cameras and the paying audience at Korakuen Hall sent a whole bunch of nerves throughout my body. I wanted to just lay down and curl up into a fetal position, but I had a job to do. I got that job done.


Prevailing, one 450 Splash later, it was a three count being made for a victory towards Marcus Bean and myself. I had just won my debut match at Korakuen Hall. I had just won my debut in Japan. I had just won my dream. And I’m not even asleep. This is only day five. This dream, I get to live for a while longer. 



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