The fact that Lance Archer has been a staple of the Suzuki-Gun faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling for more than ten years may come as a surprise to AEW fans who are only familiar with “The Murderhawk Monster’s” work in Tony Khan’s organization. There, he has acted as a heater for Mr. Kaze Ni Nare himself, Minoru Suzuki, the saddest man in professional wrestling.
According to Cagematch, the two teams have shared the ring 196 times. At the Road to the Tokyo Dome, when Suzuki-Gun faced off against Suzuki-Gun in a titanic struggle, Zack Sabre Jr. officially put an end to the group with a “Thank You Suzuki” and a Zack Driver for the victory.
For Archer specifically, the closing of one door means the opening of another, and after a decade spent essentially working for someone else, the 45-year-old is ready to put himself first and get himself over like never before in his professional wrestling career, as he explained to reporters at the event.
Obviously, this was an emotional match for all of the Suzuki-Gun-ers as it marked the end of one of the most significant factions in NJPW other than Bullet Club, but for Archer specifically, the closing of
As he held up a shirt with the Suzuki-Gun emblem, Archer said, “Make sure this gets on Twitter.” For over 11 years now, this has played a significant role in my life and pro wrestling career. The one thing over the past few years that have really irritated me is What, do you know? I just completed everything correctly and according to the rules.
I simply in and kicked an instead of kissing anyone behind. What has it gained me that I didn’t participate in the political nonsense game? I’m sick and f*cking weary of it, and there is nothing. Know anything about what I might be doing? You are aware of my responsibilities. So when I get back to AEW, stop bullsh*tting me and let me go to the United States of America! Take the monster’s chains off. Let me carry out my responsibilities in this terrible business.
Someone is going to get screwed. Sorry for the F-bombs and cussing; I’ve been putting up with a lot of bullsh*t, but I’m sick and f*cking tired of it. Whether it’s New Japan Pro Wrestling or AEW, it doesn’t matter where I’ve been; I should be at the top of my ability, not stuck in limbo year after year after year. No longer! Never once more! You either alter everything or I’ll deal with you. This is my time now; I’m sick of waiting for you to decide. Release the monster.
Oh, dear! In a sense, Archer is spot on because only 35 of the 76 matches he’s worked since joining AEW in 2020 have been shown on television. It’s true that he has competed for titles five times, and he even defeated Jon Moxley to win the IWGP United States Championship on Dynamite, but those aren’t exactly the credentials of a legitimate title contender—which, given Archer’s stature and standing, is essentially the position he needs to fill.
If Archer’s advice is taken to heart, he may be well-positioned for an entertaining rivalry with Samoa Joe, Claudio Castagnoli, or maybe MJF. If not, however, he may end up making Khan change his mind the hard way.
Lance Archer wanted this on twitter so I put it on twitter. pic.twitter.com/9HVNd7Xjgt
— JJ Williams (@JJWilliamsWON) December 23, 2022
ZSJ turned down WWE for a chance to work with Minoru Suzuki.
After Suzuki-Gun was officially over, other faction members, most notably Zack Sabre Jr., took advantage of the time to negotiate their own adjustments, particularly those involving one of the most lethal technical tag teams in NJPW, Dangerous Tekkers.
ZSJ stated via Twitter user Ciar n, “Six years ago I had the decision between WWE and New Japan.” “Minoru Suzuki encouraged me to visit Suzuki-gun, so I decided on New Japan. It’s a family, not just a squad. Not only is Suzuki-gun ending today, but Dangerous Tekkers is as well.
For those who are unaware, ZSJ actually competed in professional wrestling for WWE back in 2016. He competed in the Cruiserweight Classic and defeated future WWE talent Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, and Tyson Dux before falling to Gran Metalik in the semifinals. The 35-year-old performer still has the size, athleticism, and appearance Triple H and company seek in a ready-made foreign star, so it’s worth speculating what could come next for him, even though he finally decided to join NJPW rather than WWE, as he announced himself.