Rishi Sunak has faced the criticism of professional wrestler Zack Sabre Jr over the ongoing nurses strike in the UK. The athlete took aim at the Prime Minister in front of a sold-out Tokyo Dome and during the worldwide broadcast of Wrestle Kingdom 17.
The Isle of Sheppey-born performer, who is renowned for being anti-Tory, made his entrance in Japan where he became NJPW’s first Television Champion. The 27,000 people in attendance witnessed him taking a stand against Sunak.
During his walk-on, Sabre Jr shouted, “Hey Rishi Sunak! Pay nurses, d***head, pay nurses a living wage” while staring down the camera. He then went on to make opponent Ren Narita submit to an armbar during the major wrestling event.
In November, the RNC voted for the first-ever NHS nurses strike in a dispute over pay and working conditions. Walkouts affected hospitals up and down the United Kingdom and more are set to take place on January 18 and 19.
Head of the trade union, Pat Cullen, is on record stating that they had “no choice” but to call the industrial action. They are campaigning for a 5% pay rise above the rate of inflation to support nurses during the cost-of-living crisis.
Wrestle Kingdom 17 is a highly-popular show broadcast globally across two days. This year’s iteration had more eyes on it than normal following the debut of ex-WWE champion Sasha Banks - now known as Mercedes Mone.