Zack Sabre, Jr., (July 24, 1987) is a British professional wrestler. Zack is a former NWA United Kingdom Junior Heavyweight Championship holder and a product of the NWA UK Hammerlock training school. He started training with NWA-UK Hammerlock at the age of 14, under the guidance of Jon Ryan and Andre Baker. His offence includes various technical wrestling holds and pinning combinations, along with hard hitting strikes, which stems from his love of puroresu. Zack has had various battles throughout his career, with wrestlers such as Go Shiozaki, El Generico, Martin Stone and Prince Devitt, although it's likely that he is best known for his potential 2008 match of the year candidate with "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson in Triple X Wrestling. The match was featured in Fighting Spirit magazine and a DVD release is expected in future months. He is a member of popular British tag team the Leaders of the New School, alongside partner Marty Scurll.
Professional wrestling career
NWA UK Hammerlock (2005–2007)
On 22 October 2005, Zack defeated Falcon in Whitehaven, Cumbria, at a NWA UK Hammerlock event to capture the NWA United Kingdom Junior Heavyweight Championship, which he has held since, successfully defending it on 22 July 2006, against David DeVille, on 20 September 2006, against Paddy Morrow, on 28 February 2007, against Jimmy Havoc, on 18 July 2007, against Jamie Stirling, and on 25 April 2007, against El Generico.
International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (2006–2012)
On 18 November 2006 at International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom's (IPW:UK) British Under 23's Championship, Sabre teamed with his partner Jimmy Havoc, as they took on the team of Jexodus in a Triple X Wrestling guest match. Sabre and Havoc lost the bout, but gave a strong effort.
It wasn't until 13 April 2007, when Sabre returned to IPW:UK in Hayling Island. Sabre lost to his current partner Paul Robinson. Just one day later on 14 April 2007, in Buckland, Sabre defeated Paul Robinson to gain his first victory in IPW:UK.
Three months later, on 27 July 2007, in Sittingbourne, Sabre lost to Mark Sloan. Sabre would once again be in the ring with Mark Sloan and Paul Robinson on 11 November 2007, in Sittingbourne, in a four-way scramble match that also included Wade Fitzgerald. The experience paid off for Mark Sloan, who came out victorious.
IPW:UK's second show of 2008 took place on 27 January and saw Sabre make his debut in Orpington, which is considered by many as the home of IPW. Zack was featured on the "No Escape" afternoon show where he managed to defeat Mark Sloan and Wade Fitzgerald in a triple threat match.
IPW's annual "Battle Royale" took place on 16 March 2008. Sabre drew number nine but was eventually eliminated by Martin Stone.
Sabre finally returned to Non-British-National-Championship-Tournament action in IPW:UK, where he teamed with fellow "Leader Of The New School" Marty Scurll. Sabre and Scurll took on "The Iron Lions", consisting of Andy "Boy" Simmonz & James Tighe, as part of IPW:UK's Fourth Year Anniversary Tour in Bromley on 21 September 2008. "The Iron Lions" were the eventual winners of the contest. IPW:UK held their next show in Wolverhampton on 28 September 2008, once again as part of their Fourth Year Anniversary Tour, which saw Sabre and El Ligero have their first one-on-one meeting, in which El Ligero picked up the victory.
In 2009 Sabre and Scurll focused their attention on the IPW:UK tag team division, and picked up a memorable win against tag team champions The Thrillers during the company's February tour. A highly anticipated rematch finally took place between the teams at the 2009 "Sittingbourne Spectacular" after the Leaders' scheduled opponents had to pull out through injury. This time the championships were on the line, and the Leaders won again to claim their first championship gold in IPW:UK. The match was considered a Match of the Year candidate, and the feud between the Leaders and the Thrillers became the dominant storyline in IPW:UK through the summer, culminating in the Leaders winning a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match against their rivals in September.
The Leaders have enjoyed a tag title reign until 26 August 2012, where they were defeated by Project EGO.
British National championship
Though considered an underdog by many, Sabre made it through to the final fourteen of the British National Championship Tournament, hosted by IPW:UK. In the first round of the tournament, Sabre defeated "Hated Heroes" member, Aviv Maayan. In the second round of the tournament, Sabre was pitted against All Star Wrestling regular, Mikey Whiplash. Sabre managed to pick up the win over the more experienced Whiplash, thus scoring a place in the final fourteen. In the final fourteen Sabre was scheduled to wrestle The Last Ninja of 3CW, however due to complications, Jules Lambrini took Ninja's place but was defeated by Sabre. In the quarter finals of the tournament, Sabre defeated "The Wonderkid" Jonny Storm in order to score a place in the semi finals, where he was defeated by eventual winner Terry Frazier, one half of The Kartel.
Pro Wrestling Noah (2008–2015)
On 21 June 2008, Sabre took part in an exclusive British six-man tag team match, on the pre-show of Pro Wrestling Noah's UK tour at the Coventry Skydome. The team of Hubba Bubba Lucha (El Ligero and Bubblegum) & Luke "Dragon" Phoenix defeated Sabre, Dave Moralez & Mark Haskins. The following day on 22 June 2008, Sabre fought to a twenty-minute time limit draw, with the former holder of the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship, Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
Sabre wrestled a number of matches on tour with Pro Wrestling Noah between July and September 2011.
Sabre returned to Pro Wrestling Noah in April 2012 to wrestle a number of singles matches on the Global Tag League 2012 tour.
On 7 December, Sabre and Yoshinari Ogawa defeated Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They lost the title to Atsushi Kotoge and Taiji Ishimorion 21 March 2014, before regaining it from them on 12 April. On 5 July, Sabre and Ogawa again lost the title to Kotoge and Ishimori. Sabre left Noah in November 2015.
Triple X Wrestling (2006–2009)
Sabre is a large part of Triple X Wrestling in Coventry, where he is considered one of the top names. He is a former Triple X Wrestling Heavyweight Champion.
He still sometimes teams with fellow NWA-UK Hammerlock wrestler Jimmy Havoc and had numerous matches with Stiro, Jexodus, Ashton Smith, Chris Stone and many more. On 21 May 2006, at "Name: To Be Confirmed", Zack teamed with Jimmy Havoc, Andy Krae & Violet, as they defeated Jetta, Chris Stone, Danny Williams & Peter Jay. It was on 16 July 2006, at "Chop Him In The Face!!!", when Sabre and Jimmy Havoc defeated Stiro & "Hardcore" Keith Myatt, which would only be the start of the Stiro/Sabre series. The two men had their first singles bout on 3 September 2006, at "~", when Stiro defeated Sabre in a qualifier for the British Under 23's Championship tournament, however only through help from Keith Myatt. A rematch took place on 29 October 2006, at "Halloween Jimmy Havoc", when Sabre defeated Stiro over two out of three falls. Sabre was victorious at 2 falls to 1. When Triple X returned on 11 February 2007, they presented "Chop Him In The Valentines!!!", where Sabre defeated Ashton Smith. Sabre was back to tag team action on 8 April 2007, at "First Annual First Anniversary Show I", when he and Jimmy Havoc were defeated by Adam Shame & Falcon. Sabre and Jimmy Havoc teamed up again on 3 June 2007, at "One More Tam!", when they defeated Jexodus (Jekkel & Exodus).Sabre returned to singles competition on 9 September 2007, at "Jak'ed Up". Sabre wrestled in a four-man elimination contest, featuring Chris Stone, Stiro and Ashton Smith. Chris Stone was the eventual winner of the contest, but lost in a singles match to Sabre a month later, on 7 October 2007, at "X". Triple X Wrestling's last official show was on 2 December 2007, entitled "Jak'ed Off...The Night The Road Was Crossed". Sabre finished his first Triple X run with a victory over The Damned Nation's Dragon Aisu.
During Triple X Wrestling's recent 'limbo' Sabre wrestled Bryan Danielson and Dave Moralez in the main events of shows promoted by management of TXW. His match against Bryan Danielson was considered a 2008 Match Of The Year Candidate by fans of Triple X Wrestling. It was featured in Fighting Spirit magazine and a DVD release is expected in future months. When Triple X Wrestling returned on 31 May 2009 Sabre was the first name announced for the 10 Man Clusterf*ck Gauntlet match for the new TXW Heavyweight Championship, as well as being challenged by former Ring of Honorwrestler John Walters. After defeating Walters in the opener of the show he was pinned by Adam Shame in the main event after a gruelling 42 minutes.
Westside Xtreme Wrestling (2006–present)
On 10 December 2006, Sabre wrestled in Westside Xtreme Wrestling's "European King Of The Death Matches Tournament" in Colchester. The tournament was in co-operation with X:Sports Wrestling. Sabre got knocked out in the quarter final, in a "Tables, Ladders, Chairs and 10,000 Thumbtacks" match, against Stevie Douglas and Darkside. Sabre then made his direct debut for wXw, on 11 June 2008. He fell short to Tommy End, but left a good impression amongst the German fans.
Sabre picked up his first set of victories in wXw on 26 July 2008, when he defeated both Coone and Rico Bushido via submission on the same night, as part of the tournament for the vacant wXw Lightweight Championship. Sabre's next match in the tournament was on 16 August 2008, against Swiss Money Holding's Marc Roudin, who managed to defeat Sabre.
Sabre defeated champion Tommy End, Mark Haskins and Emil Sitoci on 16 January 2010 at Back to the Roots in Oberhausen, Germany to win the wXw World Lightweight Championship.
In June 2010, wXw discontinued its weight-class system, setting up a unification match between the company's two singles champions, World Lightweight Champion Sabre and World Heavyweight Champion Steve Douglas, and on 5 June, Sabre defeated Steve Douglas at Dead End X to unify the titles and become the first wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion.
After defending the title by disqualification against Big van Walter at Broken Rulez X and beating Tommy End at FAN 2010 and Masaaki Mochizuki at Dragon Gate: Open the German Gate 2010 he eventually lost the belt on 2 October to Big van Walter.
He won the 4th edition of the shoot-style Wrestling "Ambition"-Tournament.
He reached the final of the 2013 "16 Carat Gold"-Tournament but lost to Tommy End. He reached the semi-finals of the 2015 "16 Carat Gold"-Tournament losing to Axel Dieter Jr.
He won the World Tag Team Tournament and therefore the vacant wXw World Tag Team Championship together with Big Daddy Walter forming the team "ZackDaddy" on 4 October 2015 defeating reDRagon in the finals. They lost the belts to Cerberus (Ilja Dragunov and Robert Dreissker) on 12 December 2015.
On 13 March 2016 Sabre won the 2016 16 Carat Gold tournament.
Progress Wrestling (2012–present)
Sabre appeared for London-based Progress Wrestling on their debut show, in a losing effort to Marty Scurll, in a match voted UK Match of the Year by Alternative Wrestling Magazine, and was lauded by critics. He has also appeared at Chapter Five in a losing tag team effort as the Leaders of the New School were beaten by the London Riots, and picked up his first win at Chapter Seven against Jimmy Havoc, with Nigel McGuinness acting as special guest referee.
In 2015, Sabre Jr took part in the first ever Progress Wrestling Super Strong Style 16 tournament, competing in four matches over the weekend – defeating Zack Gibson, Tommaso Ciampa and Marty Scurll before losing to Will Ospreay in the final.Sabre Jr had a rematch with Ciampa in November at the first ever Manchester Progress show which Ciampa won. In March 2016, Sabre Jr and Ciampa teamed up to face The Origin (El Ligero and Nathan Cruz) for the Progress Tag Team Championships but failed to capture the titles. Following the loss, Ciampa beat down Sabre Jr. The two faced each other at PROGESS' biggest show to date, held at the Brixton Academy in London, in a Two Out of Three falls match which Sabre Jr won.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2014–present)
Sabre made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles on night 1 teaming with Chuck Taylor and Kenny Omegadefeating Adam Cole and The Young Bucks. He then advanced to the second round by defeating Cole on night 2 before falling to Kyle O'Reillyon night 3.
In April 2015, he returned to the promotion, answering the challenge from PWG world champion Roderick Strong in a title match at Don't Sweat the Technique in a losing effort. He then began making more frequent appearances for the company, defeating Chris Hero at Mystery Vortex II before entering the 2015 Battle of Los Angeles, defeating the previous years winner Ricochet in the first round, Pentagón Jr. in the second round, and his long time teammate Marty Scurll in the semi-final before defeating Hero and "Speedball" Mike Bailey in the finals to win the tournament.
On Night 1 of All Star Weekend 12, Sabre once again defeated Adam Cole, and on the following night after nearly a full year since their last PWG match and months of confrontations, Sabre defeated Strong to win the PWG title for the first time.
At PWG's thirteenth anniversary show, Sabre defeated Kyle O'Reilly in his first title defence. Immediately after the match he made his second successful defence, defeating Strong in an impromptu no disqualification match, which turned out to be Strong's last for the company. Sabre was originally supposed to defend against Michael Elgin at the previous show Prince but had to back out due to injury. Sabre entered his third Battle of Los Angeles tournament in September 2016, defeating Tommy End in the first round before losing to Will Ospreay in the quarterfinals.
On 18 February 2017 Sabre turned heel and joined up with Marty Scurll. On 7 July, Sabre lost the PWG World Championship to Chuck Taylor.
On 31 March 2016, Sabre was announced as a participant in WWE's upcoming Global Cruiserweight Series tournament, which was later renamed the "Cruiserweight Classic". His name was taken down shortly after as he would have a qualifying match at Progress Wrestling's Chapter 29 event in London to earn his spot, where he defeated 'Flash' Morgan Webster. On 23 June, Sabre defeated Tyson Dux in his first round match. On 14 July, Sabre defeated Drew Gulak in his second round match. On 26 August, Sabre defeated Noam Dar to advance to the semifinals of the tournament, where he was defeated on 14 September by Gran Metalik. Afterwards, it was reported that Sabre's loss was due to him not agreeing to a contract with WWE unlike the two tournament finalists.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017–present)
On 21 February 2017, it was announced that Sabre would be making his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) at the promotion's 45th anniversary show on 6 March, where he would challenge Katsuyori Shibata for the British Heavyweight Championship. Sabre won the match with help from Minoru Suzuki and Davey Boy Smith Jr., joining the Suzuki-gun stable in the process. The following day, Sabre pinned NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto in an eight-man tag team match. This led to Sabre unsuccessfully challenging Goto for the title on 9 April at Sakura Genesis 2017. Sabre was left out of the 2017 Best of the Super Juniors as NJPW had decided to categorize him as a heavyweight wrestler going forward. Instead, he was announced for NJPW's premier singles tournament, the 2017 G1 Climax. Prior to the G1 Climax, Sabre took part in a tournament to crown the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at G1 Special in USA, where he made it to the semifinals, before losing to Tomohiro Ishii. On 17 July, Sabre scored a major win in his first G1 Climax match by submitting the reigning IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. Sabre went on to finish the tournament with a record of five wins and four losses, failing to advance to the finals. On September 16 at Destruction in Hiroshima, Sabre failed in his attempt to capture the Intercontinental Championship from Tanahashi.
On 28 February 2018, Sabre was announced as one of the competitors in the 2018 New Japan Cup tournament. Sabre defeated Tetsuya Naito in the first round, Kota Ibushi in the second, and SANADA in the semi-finals, on his way to the tournament finals. On 21 March, Sabre defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in the finals, to become only the second foreigner to win the New Japan Cup, and the first since Giant Bernard in 2006. After the match, Sabre challenged IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to a title match at Sakura Genesis. On April 1 at Sakura Genesis, Okada defeated Sabre to retain his title.
On April 28, 2017, Sabre was defeated by Negro Navarro at an event co-promoted by the Mexican Lucha Memes and MDA promotions.
On May 5, 2017, Sabre was defeated by Daga at an event promoted by The Crash promotion.
- Finishing moves
- Zack Driver (Michinoku Driver)
- Article 50 (Cross armbreaker)
- Orienteering with Napalm Death (Argentine leglock / calf slicer combination)
- Jim Breaks Special / Jim Breaks Armbar (Omoplata / wristlock combination)
- Hypernormalisation (Double wrist-clutch reverse octopus hold)
- Young Boy Killer (Double leg-trap chickenwing inverted facelock)
- Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness (Double wrist-clutch octopus hold)
- European Clutch (Double pumphandle armwringer into a bridging inverted jackknife pin)
- Cremation Lily (Double omoplata / figure-four stump puller combination)
- Signature moves
- Dragon Suplex
- Double Underhook Snap Suplex
- Guillotine Choke
- Tiger Suplex
- Running European Uppercut to a cornered opponent
- Penalty Kick (Soccer kick to the chest of a seated opponent)
- Discus elbow smash
- Springboard Enzuigiri
- Sabre Driver (Sitout Scoop Slam Piledriver)
- Triangle scissors
- Double wristlock
- "British Master"
- "Dickhead Hunter"
- "Pro Wrestling Master"
- "The Technical Wizard"
- "The Hunk Killer"
- Entrance theme(s)
Championships and accomplishments
- Alternatives Wrestling Magazine
- UK Match of the Year (2012) vs. Marty Scurll on March 25
- AM Wrestling
- Round Robin Tournament winner. (November, 2008)
- International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom
- NWA UK Hammerlock
- NWA United Kingdom Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Hardcore Lottery Tournament winner (2008)
- Premier Promotions
- PWF Middleweight Championship (1 time, current)
- Ian Dowland Trophy (2010)
- Ken Joyce Trophy (2011)
- Worthing Trophy (2012, 2013)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #26 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
- Pro Wrestling NOAH
- Progress Wrestling
- Super Strong Style 16 (2018)
- Revolution Pro Wrestling
- RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship (3 times, current) – with Marty Scurll (2) and Minoru Suzuki (1, current)
- Solent Wrestling Federation
- One Night Tournament (2012)
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- 5 Star Match (2017) vs. Walter on October 21
- Bryan Danielson Award (Best Technical Wrestler) (2014-2017)
- Indy awards, in association with The Wrestling Observer UK
- Rising star (2008)