On WWE’s NXT TakerOver: Brooklyn PPV, wrestling fans were graced with the presence of a legendary Japanese performer and for the very first time too. Many great things have happened in the WWE, and many Japanese wrestling legends have performed and been honoured by the biggest wrestling company in the world, but to see the legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger perform in front of a sold out Brooklyn (New York) crowd in 2015 was unreal. If you were a complete newcomer to Japanese wrestling, and just casually watching the NXT product, you would have thought that this mysterious wrestler, dressed in a superhero (almost Ultraman) like garb was just one of the young performers on the card… well then you’d be wrong.
Jushin “Thunder” Liger has been been a professional wrestler for nearly three decades, of course this is merely a persona and character, surely different wrestlers have assumed the persona over the last 30 years? Nope. Jushin “Thunder” Liger (even to my own surprise) has always been portrayed by the one wrestler who is now in his 50s. Watch a Jushin Liger match from the ’90s and watch his latest classic at NXT Takeover, and be amazed at how he has not missed a beat. Given his tenure and age, Jushin “Thunder” Liger is quite simply a timeless performer, and over the last three decades he has evolved his ring prowess, and has never been a situation where someone can say that he used to be good. This legendary grappler has aged like wine, and has only improved with age as his legendary aura lends itself to make any of match of his special.
His attire no doubt has played a part in his timelessness, which to any wrestler would be uncomfortable and impractical, but Jushin Liger comes out every match as a Japanese superhero (something out of the Tatsunoko universe) come to life. He is a one of a kind attraction for sure, and whether it’s his innovative high flying offence, his deadly palm strikes, painful submission holds, or his spine shattering Liger Bomb, this truly is a larger than life performer who simply must be seen to be believed.
For someone who has worked for every major wrestling organisation, and winning wrestling gold along the way, it’s amazing how Jushin Liger had never stepped foot inside a WWE ring until his match with Tyler Breeze at NXT Takeover. Considering that NXT is a wrestling show comprising of young, upcoming stars full of energy and hunger, it was great to see Jushin Liger keep up with the youngsters and show em how it’s done. For someone who has been performing for 30 years, his debut match at WWE felt like the debut of a brand new star. For someone who has done it all, it seems like better things are yet to come for the legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger.
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