A rematch almost 22 years in the making between Rey Mysterio Jr. and Jushin “Thunder” Liger has been announced for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Strong Style Evolved in Long Beach on March 25. This will be only the second singles match between the two wrestlers, and first since they met at WCW’s Starrcade on December 29, 1996.
At NJPW’s The New Beginning in Osaka event, a video promo by Rey Mysterio Jr. was played. In it, he announced that he would be making his debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling. During the video promo, Mysterio then issued a challenge to Jushin “Thunder” Liger for a match on March 25 at NJPW’s Strong Style Evolved event at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach.
Liger, who was sitting at ringside providing commentary for the Japanese broadcast of the event, accepted the challenge.
In their only other singles match at Starrcade 1996, Liger defeated Mysterio with a Liger Bomb in 14:16. They also appeared in the same ring together one other time, on opposite teams in a six-man match on July 21, 1996 at WAR vs. UWFI: Super Summer Wars in Tokyo, Japan. In what was considered a junior heavyweight dream match at the time, Mysterio teamed with Ultimo Dragon, Yasuraoka, and Lance Storm to defeat Liger, Gedo, Lion Do (Chris Jericho), and Juventud Guerrera.
This is the first match announced so far for Strong Style Evolved. Despite no matches having been announced prior to tickets for the event going on sale, the available tickets sold out in less than 30 minutes. The other wrestlers that have been officially announced for Strong Style Evolved are: Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito.
The show will also be broadcast live on AXS TV in the United States and will be available for streaming on New Japan World outside the U.S. It will be available on New Japan World for United States customers at a later date.