15 WWE Legends Who You Might Not Know Wrestled For New Japan Pro Wrestling

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We have put together a list of some WWE legends who have also wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling at some point in their careers. Some you will know, others might surprise you. The list is in alphabetical order.

1) Bret Hart

Bret Hart is considered by some as one of the greatest professional wrestlers in history. Obviously Bret is known for his time in the WWE but you might not know that he did wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Bret wrestled for the company in the early 1980’s. Bret wrestled the legendary Tiger Mask II at the WWF/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit in the Tokyo Dome (1990). He also wrestled Tiger Mask I in 1982.

Here is a photo of the match between Bret and Tiger Mask II:

2) British Bulldog

Davey Boy Smith Jr is well known for his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling, did you know that his dad also wrestled some matches for the company as well?

Davey Boy Smith had a brief run with New Japan Pro Wrestling in late 1983 into 1984. This includes matches with and against the Dynamite Kid. He also faced off against The Cobra a few times.

Here is a video of Smith facing The Cobra in 1983:

3) Brock Lesnar

After Brock Lesnar left WWE in 2004, he went on to pursue a football career. After that, he moved on to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Lesnar won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his debut match at NJPW’s Toukon Souzou New Chapter event in the Tokyo Dome. He defeated Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono to win the title.

Lesnar successfully defended the title against a name that WWE fans will be familiar with: Shinsuke Nakamura. Here is a clip of Brock hitting an F5 on Shinsuke:

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  • Legend 16: Mike Rotunda. He wrestled in NJPW from ’97 to ’99