NJPW superstar and OG Bullet Club member Tama Tonga recently appeared on the All Real Wrestling podcast to discuss a wide range of subjects, including how he officially secured his job for the promotion and his thoughts on the return of the Good Brothers. Highlights from the interview are below.
Recalls how he secured his job for NJPW:
I got in there in 2010 [NJPW] and I was already on their TV and stuff. But I was just — I was jobbing for everybody and that was my job just to put people over and so I — I don’t know. I kind of just was like, ‘When am I gonna get paid?’ That was my mindset, you know? I wasn’t looking towards being on TV, I wasn’t looking towards — I was just trying to put some money in my damn pocket because I was so damn broke. So, man, I didn’t really become part of their roster until — the beginning was 2011, the end of 2011 into 2012 is when they inserted me into their Young Boy system, their developmental system because I came in green and they knew that but I was just a filler. I was just like, jobbing for people and so, I’m real expendable, you know? And so, I had done something at the end of 2011. I was actually on my last tour and they were gonna send me home and I was done and so, you know, I had done something. I did a dive on this — I did a dive and the guy missed me or I overshot the guy and I spiked the ground, the cement and I hit here [side of my face] and it knocked me out and I dislocated my right shoulder and the next thing I knew, I wake up and they’re counting. [Red Shoes] Unno, the referee was counting and all I hear is ringing so like, I get up and I make it back to the ring and everybody, the whole arena is silent and the wrestlers are just looking at me like, ‘Holy sh*t’ so, we get in and it was the beginning of the match. It was like within the first three minutes of the match and I had to take the heat so I go in, I take the heat and then finally after the heat, [Hirooki] Goto, I was tagging with Goto, Goto finished the match for us but they couldn’t call the match because it was Goto’s big return to Mexico and so, it was supposed to highlight him so, anyways, I think that kind of — that got me the job that I was able to finish the match and so, you know, when I came to the back, the boss was just like, ‘You go home, heal up and then you come back’ and when I came back, I was put into a developmental system so I think that’s when I first became part of New Japan really.
On The Good Brothers return:
We were the OGs [Bullet Club in Japan] but they [Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows in WWE] were The O.C., they were The Club, they were the — they had a few names and it never bothered me, you know? It never bothered me. I thought it was funny when they came back and I thought they were going to come back and we were gonna like, figure out some stuff here to come back to Japan but obviously the pandemic, so I thought it was funny to — when they started their stuff, want us to poke fun at it and see what we can do with it, you know? We kept throwing them damn alley-oops but nobody was dunking it.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)