Fale Dojo will be holding the Exhibition Round Robin wrestling event on May 14, 2022, at the Fale Dojo facility in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.
Round Robin will be the eighth in the Exhibition series to feature the current class of young lions, as they battle for pre-eminence over the pride. The lions will also be joined by some familiar faces, who will be entering the squared circle to test their instincts.
The Exhibition showcase has been a staple in the training of the Fale Dojo young lions since 2019, providing the opportunity to hone their skills by competing in front of a live audience. Notable alumni who have competed in previous Exhibition shows include Yuto Nakashima (NJPW young lion), Aaron Solo, Oskar Münchow, and Juicy Finau.
In addition, the Exhibition event will welcome the return of Head Coach Toks Fale, who will be in attendance to observe his students compete in the ring. The Rogue General arrives from the success of the recent New Japan Pro-Wrestling tour, where he and his tag team partner, and fellow Bullet Club member, Chase Owens, captured the IWGP Tag Team Titles.
Two special challenge matches have been signed, and the big Round Robin showcase will feature three NJPW NZ Dojo lions who have been signed to NJPW.
Tony Kozina, Pro-Wrestling Coach, described the upcoming event to be the most physically challenging showcase yet at Fale Dojo.
“The upcoming Exhibition is designed to push everyone to their limits – myself included,” said Coach Kozina, who will be competing at the event.
“One thing about NJPW and what they seek, are wrestlers with hunger and heart,” explained Kozina. “Everyone says, ‘I want it,” and ‘I’m showing heart,’ but when that bell rings all the truths come out. Everyone will be able to see who wants it just a little bit more.”
“it’s getting closer and closer to crunch time for all of us, and in the simplest terms, it’s time to put up or shut up!” Kozina firmly stated.
“If you walk away feeling your effort wasn’t satisfying, you know you need to dig in deeper and work harder in daily training,” Kozina advised. “If you walk away with your head held high, then you know within yourself that what you’re doing is getting the mission accomplished.”
TONY KOZINA vs. NIKOLAI ANTON BELL
It has been two and a half years since Tony Kozina competed inside a wrestling ring. Kozina, the 25-year veteran from Portland, Oregon, USA, is set to face quite possibly the most impressive young lion to ever come to Fale Dojo, in young Nikolai Anton Bell.
Bell comes from the resilient city of Christchurch with a solid wrestling background and has expanded both his game and his physical presence over the past few months. Bell is looking to put what he has learned to the test.
Kozina the veteran is looking to step back into the game to see if the time off has hampered his abilities, or if he will shrug off the two years away and continue his endless warpath.
ELI TAITO vs. ‘POLYNESIAN PANTHER’ MARK TUI
Eli Taito is a special breed of wrestler, bringing with him his Muay Tai and amateur wrestling hybrid background. In previous Exhibitions, Taito proved unstoppable when it came to pure grappling, but in the professional wrestling world, his inexperience cost him in the last Exhibition.
“It was very eye-opening,” Taito admitted of his recent experience. “Not at all what I thought it would be like.”
On May 14th, Taito is set to face a Fale Dojo coach, and graduate, who went on to wrestle on the NJPW Australia tours in 2018 and 2019, the ‘Polynesian Panther’ Mark Tui. Tui will push Taito in this one-on-one encounter and hopes to bring out the fight in the young lion from Otara, South Auckland.
“What we do is far from entertainment,” Tui shared passionately. “We put our bodies and our livelihoods at risk, all so we can not only motivate and inspire but put food on the table for our families.”
“If you are in the professional wrestling business for giggles, then I suggest you take up another hobby,” Tui spoke unreservedly. “This coming Saturday, our lions put it all on the line.”
JAKE TAYLOR vs. MICHAEL RICHARDS vs. ANDREW VILLALOBOS
The evening’s highlight centres around Jake Taylor, Michael Richards, and Andrew Villalobos. Three young lions, who at the start of 2022 were each signed to 1-year contracts with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
These lions went through the arduous NJPW NZ Dojo system and the world-renowned NJPW Dojo in Tokyo. They will face each other to see who will emerge as the top lion. Or will this end in a draw with one win each?
About Fale Dojo
Fale Dojo is a professional wrestling training school and fitness facility based in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand. The Dojo is an official part of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) training system, known internationally as NJPW NZ Dojo.
Founded in 2016 by Head Coach Toks Fale, Fale first came on to the wrestling scene as the first non-Japanese young lion to train through the entire New Japan Dojo in Tokyo in 2009 before making his NJPW debut on 4 April 2010. Known professionally as the “Rogue General” Bad Luck Fale, his status was elevated in 2013 when he became one of the founding members of Bullet Club. Regarded as the hottest faction in pro wrestling, Bullet Club has maintained its dominance in the wrestling world for a decade, due partly to Fale’s reputation as the Club’s revered enforcer.
Toks Fale’s passion is to give back to his community. He envisioned Fale Dojo as a way of sharing his experience and knowledge with the goal of presenting professional wrestling as a viable career opportunity. Toks Fale’s reputation helped secure an affiliation between Fale Dojo and New Japan Pro-Wrestling allowing graduates from the Dojo’s three-month professional wrestling course to pursue further training at the New Japan Dojo. From there, they can pursue the opportunity to gain a spot on the NJPW roster.
The chance to gain Fale’s insight has drawn in many locals, as well as attracted students from all over the world. Notable graduates include “Switchblade” Jay White, Aaron Henare, Hikuleo, and Robbie Eagles.
As a local fitness facility, Fale Dojo is equipped to offer a wide variety of classes in BootCamp to the public aimed at building up people’s fitness, their self-confidence, and supporting their journey and personal development. The trainers are experts in their disciplines who relish the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and understanding. The Fale Dojo coaching staff reflects New Zealand’s rich and multi-layered cultural identity; they are equipped and ready to welcome people from all walks of life.