On the latest edition of his Gentleman Villain podcast, AEW star William Regal spoke about the NXT run of NJPW’s KENTA, who used to wrestle for the brand as Hideo Itami. Regal would also give fans an update on Timothy Thatcher, the accomplished grappler who now competes for Pro Wrestling NOAH. Highlights are below.
On KENTA’s run in NXT, where he wrestled as Hideo Itami:
I thought he [KENTA] was excellent. He was a huge influence to a lot of the wrestlers of his time period. Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, he was a huge influence… Everybody has a different story. It’s not my story to tell. I do know that if you’re having to carry the weight of a company on your shoulders which he was in Japan… what I can say is we’ve talked a little bit about — I get on great with KENTA but you gotta know what you’re getting into. He asked to come to WWE and NXT… Whatever he did, he came to America and whether he liked it or not, sometimes be careful what you wish for and that’s another thing people need to understand. No, it’s not always going to be a great fit. But I will say this, I am very much going to defend WWE here. He was injured a lot and he got the best care he could get and he got looked after [and] he got paid so, you know, again, I’m looking at it as a pro, who knows, who’s not full of nonsense. To get paid while you’re injured, everybody should take that as a bonus because it didn’t used to be like that. So, if you come from a time where it’s always been like that, you don’t realize you are fortunate when that’s happening and so it’s not something you consider. I do… His time there, I enjoyed being around him. He’ll have a different tale. I enjoyed watching him when he was there, I enjoyed talking to him. Even got to train with him a little bit and roll around the ring with him one day and I enjoyed that just to do that so, it’s how things work out and whatever happens when you’re there.
On Timothy Thatcher and his current run in NOAH:
When I was scouting or whatever and the first actual tryout we did outside of FCW was in California and Canyon Ceman had organized [this] and I remember Tim Thatcher was on there as well and I had to talk to Tim that day about — because he used to do somewhat of a copy of me and I said, ‘They’ve already got me. You need to find you,’ and I really liked Tim. I really liked him and I said, ‘Look, the best advice I can give you is to go out and find you’ and he found him and you know, his career’s worked out for him… I know him and he’s a happy cat. At the moment, he’s doing well and he likes being where he is and he’s fantastic.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)