Once last we had from the Sheik he had turned ZERO1 into his own tortuous asylum. He over ran the dojo with Sheik sympathizers Matt Stone and Mark Hussein, burned the face of poor Kenta Kakinuma and championed misery. Upon his return from Japan, it wasn’t long before The Sheik made the trek to Canada to face a kindred spirit in the name of Son of Abdullah. Both men bloodied, but neither could get a decisive victory according to some reports and the match was tossed out. A day later The Sheik was successful in retaining his title in a match with former NWA Worlds Champion, the Raven.
But here is where our story takes an interesting turn. Already matches planed for July 9th in Florida against home grown talent Colby Godwin for NWA Florida, the Sheik also has said to accept a challenge from two very interesting opponents. The first name we heard about at Alliance-Wrestling was in fact Steve Corino. Corino, known for his EXTREME wrestling has had legendary wars in Japan and in the US with the likes of fellow former NWA Worlds Champion Shinya Hashimoto. Corino who works regularly all over the world but most regularly for Ring of Honor, World Wrestling Council, and ZERO1, was able to petition the NWA Board of Directors for a shot at the Sheik.
Another name has emerged to challenge the Sheik. One Ryouiji Sai, ZERO1 Heavyweight Champion has stepped forward to silence the Sheik. (The AWAStars of Wrestling Heavyweight Title is still used to represent the ZERO1 Championship, we explain that here.) Likely fed up with the way The Sheik trashed ZERO1 on his last tour, the Sheik has been invited back where this time, he will be defended the Legendary 10lbs of Gold in the Land of the Rising Son. July 3rd will mark the first time since TNA and the NWA Split that the Worlds Title will be defended in Japan. To Sai’s credit, ever since the NWA and ZERO1 re-established their professional relationship, Sai has patiently waited for his opportunity to face off against the NWA Worlds Champion. Ryouiji Sai has been Ranked #4 on PWI’s Top Ten for the better part of 11 Weeks. Perhaps his posturing has paid off and his opportunity to showcase to the world that ZERO1’s fighters are the toughest is about to pay off.
Or this could be more villainy from the Sheik, looking to expand his golden belt collection even further. Remember Sheik was the first wrestler in the NWA to simultaneously hold The NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship, the NWA Midwest Championship, and the NWA North American Championship. His narcisim knows no bounds, perhaps the Sheik is just looking for another reminder to the Japanese wrestling fans that he is really that good. Either way July 3rd 2011 will be a day that changes the NWA and ZERO1 forever.