Michael Elgin was not booked on New Japan Pro Wrestling's G1 Special in San Francisco last night, but he had a title shot elsewhere. The former IWGP Intercontinental Champion was booked on a show in Ohio at the Chesapeake Community Center.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted due to social media reaction from booking Elgin, he hasn't performed much in the US this year. This stems from allegations he mishandled a report of sexual assault while in charge of Glory Pro Wrestling. He sold the promotion in December 2017 following the accusation and has remained a face in NJPW on Japanese shows. Elgin also became NEVER Openweight Champion at NJPW Dominion in June this year, but he lost it back to Hirooki Goto eight days later.
Elgin is now taking more bookings in the US and he was in Chesapeake Ohio last night. Franco Varga defeated Elgin to retain the Infinite Pro Wrestling Title with heel tactics and drew heat from the hundred fans in attendance. Then after the match was over, Elgin stuck around and gave a heartfelt speech to the small crowd.
"In fifteen years of wrestling I've been very lucky to wrestle in many places in this world," Elgin said. "Whether it be for Ring Of Honor or in Japan in front of 60,000 people or Mexico or England. But when I started I knew what it was gonna take was coming to buildings exactly like this in front of fans just like you to be able to get good enough to get those opportunities.
"Becuase when it's that many people, 50-60,000 two people cheer everyone just starts cheering it doesn't matter what's going on, who it is. But in an intimate setting like this in order to earn your cheers you have to be really, really good at what you do.
"So being able to come to a place like Infinite Pro Wrestling keeps me honest. It makes sure that when I step through these ropes in front of this crowd, in front of any crowd I work at 100% and bust my butt because you, you have helped me be able to make a living at this because you're willing to spend your hard-earned money on a Friday, Saturday or any other day of the week to watch guys in this ring that wanna be on my level and they work hard, and hard, and hard to get your approval because they know your approval means that they're ready for the next step.
"So from the bottom of my heart I think I can speak for the rest of the locker room, thank you for spending your Saturday evening with us because without you we can't do this."
(Thank you to Casey King and Tim Smith for the following footage)
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