The last time Real1 (aka nZo, fka Enzo Amore) was on a New Japan Pro-Wrestling show, it was 2019. He and the wrestler now known as Big Bill jumped the guardrail at the company's Madison Square Garden debut G1 Supercard, a co-promoted affair with Ring of Honor during WrestleMania 35 week.
It didn't go over well - with fans or the folks at NJPW who didn’t approve the worked shoot moment (Bill has said only six people were in on the plan: he & Enzo, the Briscoes - who they attacked in what was supposed to be the start of a feud, and two unnamed people in ROH management).
But this weekend, they're giving Zo another shot. Real1 is one of 36 junior heavy/cruiserweights New Japan has lined up for Sat., Aug. 19's All-Star Junior Festival in Philadelphia. He'll wrestle in a trios match with Jack Cartwheel & Starboy Charlie against Ryusuke Taguchi, Rich Swann & The DKC.
Speaking about the opportunity on Sirius XM's Busted Open today (Aug. 15), Real1 was uncharacteristically gracious and respectful:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity, honestly. Me being gracious is something you don’t hear too much...humility and humbleness when I cut promos and start talking, but I have the utmost respect for what they do in New Japan and the way that it’s done and the honor that it holds and how long they’ve been doing it. A standard of success — a precedent that has been set in the business internationally."
He's still Enzo, though. The two-time WWE Cruiserweight champion said that if New Japan of America booker Rocky Romero let's him do his thing...
"... I guarantee you I end up over in Japan in the Tokyo Dome in front of a hundred fucking thousand people and taking everything that I deserve that should be fucking mine.”
We'll see how that works out for him. You can watch All-Star Junior Festival on the NJPWWord streaming service (separate purchase required) Saturday night at 7pm ET.