“Filthy” Tom Lawlor is out for respect.
The NJPW star and former STRONG Openweight Champion spoke with Fightful to hype this evening’s Battle in the Valley pay-per-view, where he ran down the entire card and took shots at commentator Ian Riccaboni for not giving him the respect he deserves headed into the event. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
How Battle in the Valley is one of the first big shows since STRONG got rebranded:
It is kind of the first show since the rebranding or restructuring of Strong. To me, someone that has been one of the hallmarks of New Japan Strong, it means a lot to me. I go on Twitter, and we have some great staff in New Japan. Great wrestlers, great commentators. Kevin Kelly is awesome, I love Alex Kozlov, Ian Riccaboni, very talented. He puts out a preview of the show and says, ‘Hey, this Mercedes vs. KAIRI match sold out the show and now it’s only gotten better because we’ve added all of these matches. Okada vs. Tanahashi, Clark Connors vs. Zack Sabre Jr, West Coast Wrecking Crew against Motor City Machine Guns, Kratos against Coughlin, Rocky Romero in an eight-man tag, David Finlay vs. Bobby Fish.’
Says he is mad at Ian Riccaboni for not promoting his match on the show:
There is one match that Ian Riccaboni doesn’t mention on there, and it’s my fight. The Filthy Rules fight with Homicide coming up. Riccaboni, awesome, talented guy, but I was here, I was in New Japan Strong before he ever was. The fact that, I don’t take it personally, but professionally, I’m pissed off. My name should be up there with the likes of Mercedes and KAIRI, with Okada and Tanahashi, with Clark Connors and Zack Sabre Jr, with all these other names. Quite frankly, I don’t feel like I’m getting the respect I should have for my work the past few years.
Says he aims to be one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet:
Maybe that’s just a small microism of it, but the fact that it even happens leads me to believe I have a lot of work to do. I’m not around just to be the best on Saturday at New Japan, I’m not around to be the best at New Japan Strong, I’m around to be one of the best professional wrestlers on this fucking planet. Saturday, against Homicide, the fans of New Japan, who haven’t gotten to see a different side of me, they’re going to see it. Everyone else is going to see it too. What are they going to see? They’re going to see that Filthy Tom is one of the best professional wrestlers on planet earth. Tune in!