14 January 2023

International pro-wrestlers to bring the fight to Wagga in 2023

| Chris Roe
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‘Bad Luck Fale’ says Wagga is the perfect spot for a pro-wrestling extravaganza. Photo: Chris Roe.

“I’m a good guy outside the ring, but in the ring you’ll see a different person,” says veteran pro-wrestler Bad Luck Fale with a wink and a gold-capped grin.

The towering former rugby player is in Wagga to promote New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) first Oceania Cup event, that will be held at the Equex Multi-Purpose Stadium later in the year.

Fittingly, the giant Kiwi’s name translates to “house” in Tongan and Fale says he was given the chance to try wrestling after playing rugby in Japan for eight years.

“I thought, you know, rugby is hard, I’m pretty sure this is not as hard. I went and tried out and found that it was harder!” he laughs.

“But I enjoyed the physicality and I kept with it for the past 15 years.”

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Fale is a founding member of the infamous ‘Bullet Crew’ that is made up of villainous foreign wrestlers and has expanded the brand around the world.

“So I’m a bad guy in the ring. I have a finishing move called the ‘Bad Luck Fall’ and basically I throw somebody from up here … to the ground,” he says, reaching up above his 1.93 metres with another grin.


Fale executes his signature finishing move, the Bad Luck Fall. Photo: New Japan Pro Wrestling.

The NJPW has a big following both internationally and at home in Japan where it has been running for more than five decades.

Co-promoter Cam Vale from GLO Sports says they are now finalising the details to deliver a world-class show.

“A multipurpose venue like this has so much capability for an event like this,” he says.

“It’s going to have an international broadcast; it’s going to have a real fan engagement experience in that real professional event feel.

“We were really keen to go into regional Australia, so it was a matter of matching up two key things: a really quality multipurpose venue like this, and to really tap into a sporting town.”

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He says Australia’s interest in professional wrestling remains strong despite recent COVID-19 interruptions.

“Wrestling, particularly in the last decade, has really evolved from what happens in the ring to what’s also happening behind the scenes,” he says.

“Short-form content, social and digital media has probably been a really strong thing for wrestling.”

Dr Joe

Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr takes the fight to Fale: Photo: Chris Roe.

Oasis Aquatic Centre’s Marc Geppert said the Wagga Council had been working to bring the event to town since last year and hoped it would be a sellout.

“We’re looking at a capacity of around 1000 for the event, which will be awesome, and for anyone that’s been to the multipurpose centre, there’s not a bad seat in the house.”

Bad Luck Fale says there will be plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the wrestlers and to engage and learn from international stars.

“We do want to do this once a year if it’s possible, but perfect surroundings, perfect location,” he says.

“We’re looking at somewhere between 30 to 45 wrestlers, top-grade, top-level guys, who’ve worked all over the world. And we’re bringing them all here!”

NJPW and GLO Sports are planning to announce the event dates and ticketing information by the end of January.

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