Dave Meltzer Reveals How Tanga Loa Jumped Back To WWE From NJPW

Tanga Loa has become the latest performer to bid farewell to NJPW in 2024, as he has become the newest member of The Bloodline in WWE. Loa made his surprise debut at Backlash in Lyon, France, where he helped Solo Sikoa and his cousin/adopted brother Tama Tonga to a victory over Kevin Owens and Randy Orton. Loa wrestled for NJPW as recently as March 31, where he challenged Great-O-Khan for the NJPW King of Pro Wrestling Championship, which he lost.


Tonga's initial departure from NJPW in February led some to believe that Loa was staying in Japan, but according to Dave Meltzer on "Wrestling Observer Radio," Loa's debut has been in the works for a while. "Tanga Loa's deal and Tama Tonga's deal was actually together," Meltzer said. "It's just that they — the Tanga Loa thing didn't get out because New Japan never announced it, they never gave him a farewell, and WWE obviously never announces anything like this. But this is not like something like in the last two weeks, this was actually — this deal was decided on months ago."

Meltzer does have concerns about Loa on the main roster, primarily because of his history of knee problems. "The one thing thought with Tanga Loa is that he's got really bad knees and it's going to be a struggle. In Japan he was mainly doing six-man tags and eight-man tags and he wasn't really that good." Meltzer claimed Loa was the only person in 2023 who had a 'bad' match with Will Ospreay, who otherwise had what Meltzer called a 'perfect year.' Meltzer also noted that he will primarily be teaming with his brother Tonga, but compared to other members of WWE's main roster, he doesn't think Loa will be up to scratch.


Please credit "Wrestling Observer Radio" when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.