Akira Tozawa might be the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion, but chances are most WWE fans aren’t all that familiar with his work. Like many of the cruiserweights, Tozawa’s pre-WWE career is both impressive and worth checking out, and for that reason we’ve decided to highlight Tozawa vs. El Ligero from Preston City Wrestling in 2012 as this week’s Match of the Week.
— Akira Tozawa (@TozawaAkira) August 15, 2017
Tozawa was trained at the Dragon Gate dojo in Kobe, Japan; he was just the third graduate of the school to make a professional debut. However, after losing his first 10 matches he was sent back to the dojo for more training. He re-debuted in October 2005 and wrestled for Dragon Gate for the next 12 years, winning several championships. He also embarked on a year-long American excursion during which he wrestled for Chikara, Dragon Gate USA, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
El Ligero is British pro wrestler Simon James Musk who performs as a masked Mexican luchador. His pro wrestling career dates back to 2001, and he’s wrestled all over the world including the United States, Italy, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Romania, and the UK for over 100 different wrestling promotions. In January 2017, he unsuccessfully challenged new WWE-signee Adam Cole for the ROH World Championship.
Watch Tozawa vs. El Ligero below.