Ranking all second generation wrestlers in NJPW
The wrestling business isn’t child’s play, to say the least. The part of their life that most of us are aware of is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind all the glitz and glamour, there are hours spent on the road, away from family and friends, side by side trying to heal from the perturbing injuries.
As ECW legend Tommy Dreamer describes, “I used to want a life where I could go out and live like a rock star. Then you get to the point where you’re in hotel room crying looking at their pictures in your wallet.”
While it won’t exactly turn things into a cakewalk, a second generation wrestler certainly has an advantage over other newcomers. By advantage, we don’t exactly mean the genetic superiority which Charlotte keeps on boasting, but the ease with which they are able to adapt to the lifestyle of professional wrestlers.
From the legendary Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart to the ‘Latino Heat’ Eddie Guerrero, Vince McMahon has always had a special liking for second-generation Superstars. It’s evident from the high number of such wrestlers in modern day WWE, ranging from Roman Reigns to Charlotte. But what about the promotions other than WWE?
Here we have a list of second generation superstars working in New Japan Pro Wrestling, the second biggest wrestling promotion in the world.
Honourable Mention: David Finlay
In David Finlay, we have neither a second generation Superstar nor a third generation Superstar but a rare fourth generation wrestler. Coming out of Northern Ireland’s wrestling royalty, both his grandfather and great-grandfather were a part of the wrestling business. But mostly, fans associate him as the son of the Irish wrestling legend, ‘Belfast Brawler’ Fit Finlay.
David Finlay debuted in Germany in 2012, wrestling all over the world before signing with New Japan in 2015 as a Junior Heavyweight. He is among the few names in NJPW roster that aren’t part of any major stable.
Alongside Richochet and Satoshi Kojima, Finlay defeated the team of Adam Cole and The Young Bucks at Destruction in Kobe Hall 2016 to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team title.
Wrestling mostly in tag matches, he has shown the no-nonsense style of his father, adding a more psychological aspect to it. At just 24 years of age, Finlay is one of the most promising names in the wrestling industry and is destined to achieve great success in future.
#5 Tanga Roa
Andre the Giant once admitted that he was legitimately afraid of only two wrestlers: Harley Race and Haku. Stories about Haku and his toughness today sound more like urban legends but the ones who have been with him never doubted it.
Therefore when Tevita Fifita decided to be a professional wrestler, the wrestling universe had big expectations from him.
Unfortunately, his career didn’t start exactly as his father would have wanted. He spent a total of six years in WWE, including the developmental stage, yet his only memorable moment was being the cameraman who unsuccessfully tried to support The Undertaker during a suicide dive against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25.
In 2016, he made the best decision of his career when he joined NJPW as Tanga Roa and formed the tag team named Guerrillas Of Destiny (GOD) with his brother, Tama Tonga (discussed later in detail). They are the current IWGP Tag Team Champions in their third reign.
Considering the monumental change his career has undergone in the last couple of years, future has never looked brighter for Tanga Roa.