War Machine (Hanson and Ray Rowe) spoke to ESPN on an number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:
Connecting better with the Japanese audience:
Rowe: "Yeah, I think it's an interesting dynamic with us. Because of social media, I feel like the Japanese audience is connecting with us in a way that maybe they've never connected with the American audience, because we've maybe never had that type of platform at that level of connection. We've talked to these guys at meet and greets, and at autograph signings, or at a train station when people stop us. They love that we love Japan. They see our pictures of us going out and doing tourist things like going to visit cat cafes, or owl cafes or temples or castles. Fans are coming up to us now or they're sending us messages on Twitter or they're emailing us and they're sending us ideas like, 'Hey, when you come to Osaka, you should go and visit this temple, you know. Do [you] want somebody to take you around, you know? Can we show you this local food?' They can see how much we enjoy being in Japan, and how much we enjoy exploring Japan. I think that has made them maybe connect to us on a deeper level."
Wrestling against The Young Bucks:
Rowe: "The fans, thanks to New Japan, thanks to a lot of the stuff in Ring of Honor, they've gotten to watch as War Machine has evolved. I think fans had a preconceived notion about who we are, or what we're capable of based on what we look like -- and then we go out and wrestle, and change their minds completely. I feel like the Young Bucks are a very good foil for War Machine as a tag team. They are, in many ways, everything that we're not. We can be polar opposites sometimes, but at the same time, we're both very athletic, dynamic, creative teams. To be given that outlet, to be given that platform, like Hanson was talking about, is why we're able to create something truly special with matchups like this."
Evolving their look from Nordic/Viking history:
Rowe: "I'm very, very big on Nordic and Viking history, and styles and culture. I've got Viking runes tattooed on my body. It's something that's a very big part of my personal mythos. The more that we've evolved War Machine, the more we've felt this Viking influence, and just put it on display. As Hanson and I came together, it was a blending of my style of wrestling, his style of wrestling, my personal approach and presentation, and blending us together. As this is happening, as we've grown together and as we've become better and better friends in a more cohesive unit, we've built off of each other's creativity. We maybe take a little bit of my Viking stuff, a little bit of his larger-than-life hero persona, and have created this really cool thing."
War Machine also discussed their 2017. You can read the full interview by clicking here. Be sure to join us for Live Coverage of NJPW's G1 Special tonight at 8pm ET.