It had been more than three years since Chris Hero’s last match. And while that might not sound like a long time, it was long enough ago that it happened for the now-defunct NXT UK brand, where Hero went by his WWE moniker Kassius Ohno.
Hero did some good work in NXT, but he earned his reputation as one of the best on the independent scene. I always think of him working with Claudio Castagnoli & Sara Del Rey as the Kings of Wrestling in Chikara and Ring of Honor, but before that he was part of the amazing group who worked IWA Mid-South after the turn of the century, and wrestled for pretty much every indie you can name from the aughts. Anyway, the indies are where Hero made his return last night (Nov. 17), facing his old rival Timothy Thatcher for West Coast Pro Wrestling — a promotion for which he also serves as matchmaker.
The whole show, entitled Whiplash, streamed free on YouTube. This is queued up to Hero’s entrance for the main event:
Hero won, submitting Thatcher with a Fujiwara armbar. Afterwards, he brought his fiancee Rachael Ellering out and teased leaving his boots in the ring. He just wanted us to see the “West Coast” labels on them, though.
Retirement fake-out out of the way, he called out Kevin Blackwood. Seems Hero doesn’t like young Mr. Blackwood, so he challenged him & Titus Alexander to a tag match at WCP’s Dec. 3 show. Who will that not-so-young Knockout Kid team with? New Japan’s KENTA!
MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT!!!— West Coast Pro (@WCProOfficial) November 18, 2023
CHRIS HERO X KENTA VS TITUS ALEXANDER X KEVIN BLACKWOOD!!!
Sunday, December 3rd
The Don Quixote
Los Angeles, CA
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!https://t.co/L03gBjIRkh pic.twitter.com/ZwWQBewTMW
That should be another fun one. And it’s just good to see Hero back in the ring.
Welcome back, King.