Tama Tonga was recently on the WINCLY podcast on Wrestling INC. to hype up the Bullet Club Block Party. During the interview, Tama discussed how, slowly but surely, change is coming to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, under new President Harold Meij:
Transcriptions via Doric Sam at WrestlingINC.
“From my understanding, he was brought in to help us expand and I think he’s working hard towards that,” Tonga said. “I want us to expand, so I’m on the same boat. Anybody who’s trying to help the company expand and do better for us, that’s best for business for us.
“It might be a little too soon to notice a whole big difference,” he continued. “I think it takes a little time to see the changes really take an effect. But it’s happening, but I don’t see the whole huge difference yet. Ask me in another year.”
Tama also talked about his personal connection to former-NJPW talent KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA left the company at the end of January.
“It’s gonna be a huge gap, but I know we’ve got guys to step up and fill that gap. But KUSHIDA and I made our debut together on the same day here in New Japan in 2010 for the Best of the Super Juniors, and we always remembered that. I worked with him a lot for the first couple of years, and then when I went heel we shared a lot of memories going against each other. He’s just an all-around great dude,” he said. “He just had his child last year, and so did I, and I feel like his story and my story kind of intertwine here and there, which is nice and unique. He’s been great for the company, he held the junior division very, very tight and held it up very high, set standards for everybody to come up to. He’s gonna be really missed out here. He’s a good friend of mine, and he’s gonna be really missed. But since I live in Florida, if that’s where he’s going, I’ll see him out there.”
Tama also shared his initial reaction to KUSHIDA’s departure.
“I was like, ‘Look, just do it! Just do it, man. Go and grow, New Japan will always be here. That’s what I give New Japan, is the loyalty for those that have sacrificed themselves for the company. So thank you, and we’ll always be here when you want to come back.”