Zack Sabre Jr announced earlier this week on Twitter:
Can very happily confirm my return to Pro Wrestling NOAH for early September for my third 3 month excursion in Japan. I am incredibly lucky.
— Zack Sabre Jr (@zacksabrejr) August 13, 2012
I talked to him a fortnight ago, just after his return from his second trip to Japan and NOAH, and found out a little bit about his time out there. Frankly, he seems to have had such a great time and they seem to have loved him so much that the news of this third excursion doesn’t really come as a surprise.
“There wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t over the moon to be there,” he said. “I made an effort to try everything and explore every town that we were in. I’ve been there for three months – you get so settled. It might be a different experience if you’re just there touring. You get so relaxed into everything. It felt like I had been there for months, a month into my second trip. It might be because I’ve always wanted to be there so much, so it feels natural for me to be there.”
His first Japan trip was in mid-2011, and it was a bit of a whirlwind after he appeared on NOAH’s European tour. “That was definitely a test to see how I could hang with their best guys,” he said. “Those shows went really well, and the week after, the Japanese office contacted the UK office to say they wanted me to go out there. For the feedback to have been what I wanted and for it to happen so quickly – the shows were end of May and I was out in Japan by the start of July. It was a matter of sorting out visas and paperwork.”
Spending nine of the past 18 months in Japan might make your average individual slightly homesick, but not ZSJ. “I was always looking forward to coming home, excited to see everyone, but I was having so much fun, doing exactly what I wanted to do. Three months is a long time and it’s nice to be home for the summer, it’s not that I don’t miss people, it’s just what I want to do, so I make that sacrifice.”
Japan is part of his long-term plan. “Lots of wrestlers say they want to tour Japan, but I’m sure they just want to tick off a list and move on. My dream is not only to have a career in Japan but to be a success over there.”
And now with his return to Japan next month, that looks a distinct possibility. “The relationship and how the fans have taken me in, and the other wrestlers in the company, is more than if I’d done six tours there. Spending the months there and being part of the company, for me that was just as important as anything else. The fans can tell you’re enjoying yourself. I did a little promo in Japanese at the end of my last match out there, and I probably sounded like an eight-year-old child, the fact I was even trying won them over.
“My priority is Japan. Yes, I’m an English boy, and I like getting to come home and see my family and friends, but I would be over the moon with a situation like Fergal [Prince Fergal Devitt] has with New Japan. He’s there a lot but he also comes home. That would be my dream – to be on NOAH as much as possible and also to come home and do UK tours.”
In the meantime, we have him here in the UK for the rest of the month, where he’s appearing at CWA on Saturday August 25th against Noam Dar (as per the artwork above), and at IPW:UK on Sunday August 26th against Johnny Gargano. Catch him while you can.