Aussie Open: The Empire Strikes Back

“I can’t wait for the day Aussie Open join NJPW and tear shit up.” – Me, approximately 30 minutes before Aussie Open joined United Empire.

At the climax of RevPro’s High Stakes event, Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher, collectively known as Aussie Open, stunned the York Hall crowd by joining Will Ospreay’s United Empire. The pair fan favourites, they charged to the ring to save Shota Umino from a beatdown, only for Davis to shockingly lariat Shota’s head off his shoulders (causing me to jump around shouting like I’d just unwrapped a Nintendo 64 in 1997).

Dripping in gold, the trio holding 7 titles across their shoulders, the night ended with Aussie Open donning their United Empire shirts, and United Empire (and by proxy NJPW) gaining two of the best tag team wrestlers in the world. They’ve dominated Australia, they’ve dominated the UK, and now the pair are set to dominate Japan.

Speaking of dominating Japan, Mark Davis is a monster, aptly holding the moniker of Dunkzilla. Breaking bodies with his sickening piledriver named Close Your Eyes and Count to Fuck, Davis is one of the few wrestlers on the planet with chops that could rival WALTER. Standing next to his larger partner, Kyle Fletcher is deceptively big himself. The Aussie Arrow’s arsenal includes a beautifully brutal spinning Michinoku Driver – his quick and sleek finesse bolstered with volatile explosiveness. Individually impressive, they’re far superior together, a violent calamity.

They are a tag-team through and through, competing across the globe as a duo. Unique and devastating team moves have led them to claiming tag gold the world over, including winning the RevPro British Tag Team Championships less than an hour before siding with Ospreay. World experience, Aussie Open defeated WWE’s Ilja Dragunov and WALTER to win the wXw World Tag Team Championships in Germany, but perhaps their crowning achievement was winning the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships in Wembley Arena.

Aussie Open are no strangers to NJPW, having already made their debut under the lion mark, in London at Royal Quest, where they unsuccessfully challenged Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Tag Team Championships. Though they missed out on tag gold at Royal Quest, Aussie Open hold the rare distinction of toppling the mighty Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. to win the RevPro British Tag Team Championships a few months prior. On other occasions they’ve gone to war against NJPW teams including EVIL and SANADA, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Juice Robinson, and Roppongi 3K.

Joining New Japan is long overdue for Aussie Open. Following Royal Quest, I was confident they would make their Japanese debuts shortly after, likely in World Tag League. Unfortunately, Mark Davis suffered an injury in September 2019, rupturing his MCL and tearing his ACL. If Aussie Open were set to make the trip to Japan that year it was no longer possible, and the pandemic months later only added more difficulties.

The potential for Davis and Fletcher in the cerulean blue New Japan ring is worthy of drooling over. The beastly Davis clashing with Shingo Takagi, Dunkzilla vs Dragon! The explosive Fletcher outmanoeuvring Kazuchika Okada, the Aussie Arrow darting through the rain! Aussie Open reigniting their rivalries with Suzuki-Gun and Bullet Club to overcome Dangerous Tekkers and Guerrillas of Destiny.

World Tag League is imminent, and Aussie Open winning the trophies in their tournament debut isn’t unrealistic. In fact, they could very well be favourites given their own prowess and the fantastic year United Empire are collectively having.

It has been a long time coming. Aussie Open are guaranteed future IWGP Tag Team Champions. Aussie Open are more than ready for NJPW. But are their opponents ready for them?!