Ite focuses on the Filips
TAMASHII makes its return on Friday September 15, where the Crowbar ibn Sydney sees an intense night of action. At the top of the card, Kosei Fujita and Robbie Eagles are set to face a much lauded tag team with a New Zealand Dojo connection, and the newest members of BULLET CLUB’s Rogue Army- Tome and Stevie Filip, the Natural Classics.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Tome, and his younger brother, Stevie grew up playing competitive soccer from an early age, following in the footsteps of their father, Goran Filiposki who played for Australia’s National Soccer League. By their teenage years, the brothers discovered their passion for professional wrestling, and it was only natural that they would venture into the squared circle together, as a tag team duo, calling themselves the Natural Classics. After time passed, the brothers looked into taking their wrestling to the next level, setting their sights on attaining their formal education in strong style at Fale Dojo in New Zealand.
“We were inspired to keep trying out for Fale Dojo because we knew that this was the right pathway,” Stevie explained of their quest to train at the Dojo through multiple tryouts. Their persistence paid off after securing their places in the February 2019 intake. “We were also drawn to Fale-San’s drive and passion to establish a place for people like us and many others in Australia and NZ to have a chance at wrestling in Japan,” Stevie added. Tome, and Stevie were among the notable standouts in their intake that also included Aaron Solo and Oskar Leube.
“We both quit our jobs, left our family and loved ones for a period of time,” shared Tome of the leap of faith they took to pursue their aspirations. “But everyone understood our reasons and were supportive of our dreams. The training at Fale Dojo helped us in many ways- what we learned was more than we expected, and we were able to tap into some top-level wrestling.”
“We were taught the basics,” Stevie shared of the fundamentals that built their craft. “We were stripped of what we knew before and were retaught it all. These are the necessities we still apply even to our day-to-day lives.”
A month after completing the Dojo’s three-month training, the Filips, equipped with a solid foundation and refined skillsets, made their New Japan debut at the Southern Showdown tour of Australia. Over the next three years, the Natural Classics honed their craft in tag team wrestling, while dominating the Australian wrestling scene, collecting three different championships, one of which they held for 400 days. In addition, the Classics travelled the world, facing such teams as Will Ospreay & Kyle Fletcher, the Lucha Brothers, and the Bollywood Boyz.
The launch of New Japan TAMASHII in 2022 saw the return of the Filips to a New Japan ring. Competing at the inaugural event in Christchurch, NZ; Tome, Stevie, and other Dojo graduates from various intakes shared the ring with members of the NJPW roster that included KENTA, Taiji Ishimori, and Bad Luck Fale. “Wrestling on the first TAMASHII show was a great experience,” Stevie recalled, he and Tome wrestled fellow graduates, Nikolai Anton Bell, and Rowan Davis. “After all the work we put in at Fale Dojo and the continuation of what we accomplished in Australia and overseas, it reflected in our work.”
Tome and Stevie’s Dojo roots were strengthened with a return to their old stomping grounds in Auckland earlier this year. During their short stay, they worked out alongside the intake in training while seeking advice from their coaches “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it,” Tome recalled from his time at the Dojo. “The core workouts and principles are flawless and remain the same, teaching you everything you need to know in this business. There’s no question that New Japan is exactly where we want to be, and a visit back to the place that began our journey was needed after four long years,” Tome added.
“Our time was used wisely,” Stevie added. “Seeing the new generation of prospects at the Dojo was impressive. It’s important to keep an eye on our future prey.” In the same way also, Tome and Stevie would be acknowledged for their sheer boldness. In wrestling the Rogue Army’s Bad Luck Fale, and Jack Bonza in a feature tag team match at April’s New Japan TAMASHII event in Melbourne, the Filips suffered their first defeat in the brand. Fale however, recognising the same heart and fighting spirit that he saw in the brothers many years ago, recruited the Natural Classics to join his Army.
This was a spectacular milestone for the Filips, becoming the third brother tag team to join the BC entity since the group’s inception in 2013. “It takes a special kind to be a part of the Rogue Army,” stated Tome. “We had ‘rogue’ written all over us and Fale-San saw it for himself!” “It has brought more overall attention and now we smell intimidation from everyone,” Stevie commented. “These two hungry untamed animals are ready to pounce on a new chapter.”
Since joining the Rogue Army, Tome, and Stevie’s fame spread far and wide while making their appearances with the National Wrestling Alliance, and IMPACT Wrestling tours of Australia. Their most anticipated match to date will be at the upcoming TAMASHII event on September 15 at Sydney’s Crowbar where the brother duo will go up against TMDK’s Robbie Eagles and Kosei Fujita in the main event. “Naturally, we are stoked to fight in the main event at NJPW TAMASHII,” Stevie boasted. “If there is one thing that you will remember from this night, is that we left everything in the ring! No one is safe from the Rogue Army, not our opponents, not anyone.”
“We cannot wait to unleash war all over NJPW,” Tome concluded. “Let’s just say the IWGP Tag Team Championship is burning our ears on a daily.”