Source: Talk Is Jericho

Recently on Talk Is Jericho, WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins sat down with the six-time world champion, Chris Jericho, to talk about being a young boy in New Japan Pro-Wrestling's dojo with NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Bálor stepping into his NJPW spot when he left the promotion, and the impetus behind his video game inspired WWE entrance.

Perkins began training with NJPW in 2001 and was a young boy along with former WWE Superstar Yoshi Tatsu and current NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. According to 'The Fil-Am Flash', Nakamura was always destined for professional wrestling superstardom.

"I actually had a really interesting class because Yoshi Tatsu was in my class and so was Shinsuke Nakamura. And Nakamura, literally, from Day One, was Nakamura, like, he wasn't even a young boy with us. He was in our class, but we never saw him. He was going to be a superstar from Day One. He was just too good to be with us, for sure."

Perkins admitted that he wishes he never left NJPW and stated that the first ever WWE Universal Champion, Finn Bálor, ended up in the spot 'The Wrestling Yoda' gave up in Japan.

"I was doing less and less around the time Prince Devitt was coming in, so it was almost like he took over the opportunity I was kind of leaving on the table, which in retrospect, I wish I never left." Perkins continued, "I think it was more like he did what I didn't do because he came in and was amazing, like, did an amazing job. And I never, like, I don't think I flourished in a way. I think they were hoping that I would stick around and do that sort of thing."

On the subject WWE entrance, Perkins said that it was his way of embracing the criticisms that he is too smooth in the ring.

"It's just stuff I'm into for the most part. Artistically, it's just things I'm into. I always wanted to be Scott Pilgrim, like actual Scott Pilgrim. And it's something that really hasn't been done a lot. A buddy of mine, Kenny Omega in Japan, had similar style and stuff to him and I think it's indicative of this generation, so I felt it was something that could be communicated and it's part of what I like. But stylistically, Cesaro jokes with me a lot because he gets a lot of the same 'wrestling looks too easy'. I just got sick of hearing that. I'm not a gritty guy, like, I'm not a tough guy. I can dirty it up, but at a certain point, I am who I am and this is my best way of encapsulating that. It's just a way of capturing what that is and being able to provide it as a form of entertainment as opposed to only getting it as criticism."

Perkins continued, "it started with the music. They asked what I was into. And he music guys are big gamers, so they were like, 'we've been waiting our whole lives to make this song!' They did and then, after that, I was like, 'this is the right type of atmosphere for this.'"

Click here to listen to the interview. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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