Former MLW Heavyweight champion Tom Lawlor recently spoke with the NJPW press to discuss his experience working NJPW STRONG, his similarities with Chris Dickinson, and his chemistry with former WWE star Fred Rosser. Highlights are below.
On the similarities for between him and Chris Dickinson:
We both wrestle a similar style, lots of grappling, strikes. But we’re both very different people, except for the fact we both like to fight. I think it’s a real case of very different people in the same environment but we all gel well together all the same.
On his chemistry with Fred Rosser:
I didn’t know who I was going to wrestle until the night before. I didn’t even know Fred Rosser was going to be there. So if you told me ‘you’re gonna go to LA, wrestle in a New Japan ring, and it’s going to be against a former WWE star’, never in a million years would I have guessed it would be Fred Rosser. But the moment I got a hold of him, I knew we were going to have a good fight. I don’t know what he had going on in WWE, but the Fred Rosser you see now in New Japan; it’s clearly the best Fred Rosser. I don’t think you can doubt that, but he’s much more true to himself here. He works as hard as it’s possible to work, and much as I don’t want to say it, he’s a really nice guy with a great personality. He just wants to fight, and that’s what I like to do, too. That’s where pro-wrestling is at it’s best, and that match was just two people fighting for ten minutes.
What his experience in NJPW STRONG has been:
I’m one of those people that have worked hard to get here. I’ve been a fan of NJPW wrestlers since I was a kid. So STRONG is an awesome opportunity. To be here under the New Japan banner after being outside looking in is cool. It’s a small step to a bigger goal that I have.
On working without a crowd:
It does, and I think it does with everybody on STRONG. It’s very intimate, there’s less flash. That suits me as someone who doesn’t do a lot of flashy moves. I will play to a crowd if there’s one there, but I’m not about showing off, I’m about winning my matches. That’s the thing about STRONG. You’re seeing a lot of different styles, but everyone’s very much about trying to win.