NJPW’s Gabriel Kidd has revealed that he has graduated from the Young Lion dojo system, and is currently on his excursion.
Those who are training in the NJPW system are often referred to as ‘Young Lions’, wearing black trunks until they leave the program. A Young Lion will eventually be sent abroad from Japan to continue training with a ‘learning excursion’.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Live, Gabriel Kidd confirmed that he has completed the initial Young Lion system, and his current run in the US is being treated as his excursion, noting:
“So, I don’t think it’s really been announced officially really, but I’ve graduated the Young Lion system. I’ve had that conversation with Shibata-san and I’m on my excursion in (the) United States now. This is like — so I wrestled on the U.K. scene for a little bit and then went to Japan for a year-and-a-half and I’d never wrestled in America until recently so, I’m on excursion in the States and I’m doing some independent shows and New Japan STRONG too, yeah.”
Kidd joined the LA Dojo in 2019, before continuing his training in Japan in 2020, after COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions were put in place while he was in the country. Kidd was notably part of the 2020 and 2021 New Japan Cup tournaments.
The UK star returned to action in the US during the November NJPW STRONG Detonation tapings, against Jonathan Gresham. He is set to face AEW’s Eddie Kingston during Thursday’s NJPW STRONG Nemesis event.
Explaining why Kingston is an inspiration to him, Kidd said:
“You know, I love Eddie (Kingston) to be honest and I’ve said this publicly before and you know, I’ll say it a thousand times over and you know, what he’s done right now, just like the past year because I had a conversation with him in 2019 in England and he was thinking about stopping and he had some stuff going on and he was thinking about stopping wrestling and I just said to him, I pulled him aside and I just said, ‘Please don’t give up on this because we need more people like you’ and you know, he’s a real inspiration.
“I think he’s inspired a whole generation of young wrestlers without even knowing I feel and you know, I really look up to him but, when I’m standing in the ring and I’m looking at him, I’m not — we’re not friends anymore. It’s go-time, you know? And I’ve had six months off and I’m not coming back just to slow down again. So…”
Quote via POST Wrestling.
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