As Australian wrestling continues to boom more and more of the local talent is being scouted by the major companies (i.e. WWE and NJPW). One such talent is the man known as ‘The King Of Monsters’ Jonah Rock, who is expected to join WWE’s next class of recruits at the performance centre in Orlando.
Trained under current NXT coach Hartley Jackson and mentored by the Australian wrestling legend Col DevarneyRock has risen through the racks thanks to his unique combination of size, power and agility.
After debuting in Australia in 2007 Rock would go on to be one of the first recruits into the now world-renowned group The Mighty Don’t Kneel (TMDK).
“When I joined it was just after Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste had started the group,” Rock told J.A.M in 2017, “They approached myself, Elliot Sextonand Marcus Pittto join, and then from there I was able to go to Japan for the first time.”
Rock would go on to wrestle in Pro Wrestling NOAH from 2013 through 2015. As he progressed Rock would move up from the dojo to the main card and ultimately to assistant trainer. Looking back on that time Rock explained that his training under Jackson was certainly beneficial.
“My trainer Hartley Jackson was trained by the legendary Antonio Inoki, so when Hartley trained me he trained me in that same style. We did squats, push-ups and he beat us all up, but at the same time, it made us all very tough. So by the time I went to Japan and they said to do 200 squats, 600 sit-ups and 300 push-ups, which we had to do every day, at first I said ‘oh shit’ but because of the training I quickly adapted.”
Upon returning to the Australia scene Rock became a stalwart for many companies around the country, main eventing shows and holding titles across every single state in Australia. In particular, Rock is a triple crown winner in Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW) having held the MCW Tag Team, MCW Intercommonwealth and MCW Heavyweight Championship during his career.
After dominating Australia Rock set his sights further abroad as he wrestled in the United States for House of Hardcore and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. After showcasing his skills in the US Rock also made his debut for NJPW (as part of New Japan’s Down Under tour), and entered the European scene wrestling for PROGRESS, Revolution Pro (RevPro), Fight Club: PRO, Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling, and Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw).
Throughout his career Rock has faced off against some very notable opponents such as; Minoru Suzuki, Tetsuya Naito, KENTA, Zack Sabre Jr, WALTER, Keith Lee Jeff Cobb, Joey Janelaand Timothy Thatcher.
Whilst Rock is now off to conquer bigger things he believes the Australian will continue to thrive.
“I think for a long time we’ve had really good talent but no one has noticed us but now that we have guys going overseas and have guys in WWE people are starting to notice that the Australian guys are really good. After people realise that they look online and find MCW, PWA and WRESTLE Rampage. So I think the more that guys get those opportunities then the better things will continue to get here. I’m going to the States soon and I’m hoping that will create more opportunities for guys here in the future.”
One factor which Rock said he believed could further expand the Australian wrestling boom was with free-to-air television.
“With the talent we locally now and the international guys that are coming over we have a very marketable mix that could certainly be marketable for television and ultimately benefit everyone.
Look for Rock to continue his monstrous ways when he eventually arrives on NXT television, which given his incredible talent shouldn’t take too long.
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