‘Invest in Yourself’ is a motto that Toks ‘Bad Luck’ Fale and the Fale Dojo use as motivation within the Dojo community. This motto is a message of encouragement for people to seize the opportunity and work towards their goals regardless of how great the feat. Such was the case for Lloyd Morgan, a humble and dedicated referee and member of the Fale Dojo family. Through his commitment to training at the Dojo whilst pursuing his university studies and working, Morgan was able to make his New Japan Pro Wrestling debut at the recent ‘Southern Showdown’ tour of Australia.
“The opportunity came about when I started training at the Fale Dojo for fitness purposes,” said Morgan. “From there I started training as a Fale Dojo referee, and with the guidance of Fale-San and the amazing staff and coaches, Fale-San offered me a spot on the tour.”
Morgan’s duties at Fale Dojo, before his debut with New Japan, involved refereeing all matches at the first two Fale Dojo Exhibition events, and the Fale Dojo New Zealand tryouts this past May. Although he had experience prior to his formal training at the Dojo, the atmosphere at ‘Southern Showdown’ was on another level, Morgan described.
“I was the most nervous that I had ever been,” he recalled. “Being in front of a crowd that size was something I had never experienced before, and hearing how loud and passionate those fans were was an amazing experience to a part of.”
The environment behind the scenes was just as energetic, Morgan explained. “The scene backstage was infectious, full of incredibly passionate, professional and driven individuals,” he stated. “They were all there with a sense of purpose, to put on the best show possible for their fans and for their craft. It definitely made me hungrier as an individual to get to that level and join them on more tours.”
Morgan officiated a total of three matches at the Melbourne and Sydney shows. Waiting backstage to give Morgan their reviews were the ‘Rogue General’ and one of New Japan’s esteemed referees, Hiroyuki ‘Red Shoes’ Umino.
“I received feedback from Fale-San as well as ‘Red Shoes’ after my matches,” revealed Morgan. “Their assessments definitely gave me something to work on now that I’m back into training.”
“What I took away from this amazing experience is a new sense of enjoyment, humility and new goals I hope to achieve,” he added. “It definitely made me feel more comfortable in front of large crowds.”
Since joining Fale Dojo, the opportunity to referee at an international level and for the most respected professional wrestling promotion in the world has helped give Lloyd Morgan some valuable insight. This has certainly intensified his passion for what he now knows he is capable of achieving. With plans of working towards a full-time career in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Morgan would also like to give back to his community.
“I am currently saving up to go for a trip over to Japan to attend Wrestle Kingdom 14 and tick off that of my bucket list,” explained Morgan. “My hope is to referee on more New Japan tours, and ultimately, my long term goal is to officiate an IWGP Heavyweight Title match and to work at Wrestle Kingdom.”
“With these objectives insight along with the training and values I’m learning at Fale Dojo, I want to make refereeing a viable option for people in New Zealand who want to make this crazy and amazing sport a career,” said Morgan in closing. “I’m looking forward to the next opportunity I get to work with New Japan Pro Wrestling again.”