Since returning to New Japan in 2017, Lance Archer finally gets another opportunity to participate in the G1 Climax. He's been placed in the A Block this time around and he talked about the other competitors he's grouped with when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"I'm looking at the A Block as a lot of revenge matches. This is my fifth G1… and I just celebrated eight years working with the company, but it's been five years since I was a part of the G1 Climax," said Archer. "A lot of the guys in my block – Tanahashi, Okada, even Will Ospreay – these are revenge matches and guys I've faced before. They bested me and got me but this is my chance to get my revenge on them in probably one of the most physical G1 Climaxes ever."
After teaming with DH Smith aka Davey Boy Smith Jr. for a number of years, Archer is now solo after Smith left New Japan. Archer talked about being on his own and how this could be a great opportunity for him.
"Pro wrestling is pro wrestling and it's one of those industries where things change on a dime. I'm coming up on 19 years in a business with various companies…and often one day you're there and the next day you're gone," stated Archer. "He made choices for himself and how he wants to see the future of his career.
"I'm looking forward to this opportunity. I'm looking forward to making people open their eyes and recognize exactly how good I am at what I do."
The opening night of the G1 Climax will take place in Dallas, marking the first time that any G1 Climax show will take place outside of Japan. Archer talked about New Japan's American expansion and why it's best for business.
"It's gone good," Archer said of expansion. "Everything is a process and the company is learning how to be more global. The company's been around for close to 150 years in Japan… but this is a new venture and market into the US market."
New Japan has had recent shows in Australia and the United Kingdom so coming into the US market was the next logical step.
"Obviously, the US market is probably one of the most prominent ones, starting out in LA with a small live show tour a few months ago that went well. Now they just did MSG in April and then we're hitting Dallas, Texas on July 6. So, it's a learning experience for everyone involved but I think it's going well and will only get better," said Archer.
Archer then talked about being a foreigner in New Japan and working under New Japan booker Gedo.
"I think it's a great [creative process]. Obviously [Gedo] has taken on more responsibility as the company has grown. When I started with New Japan in 2011, there was a total of five or six foreigners on the roster," Archer said before listing off many of the foreign talents who used to work for the promotion.
"There weren't a whole lot of us and the way things have changed, the amount of foreigners who are a part of the company…his creative process is just getting deeper and deeper and harder and harder. For me, he's been easily accessible and listens to ideas. If I have a good idea, he likes it, goes with it and helps me produce it to make it better. If he doesn't then he simply says, 'No, I don't think that would work.' That open communication helps me respect him and the company as a whole."
Lance Archer will take on Will Ospreay this Saturday, July 6th, live on AXS TV as part of NJPW's G1 Climax show from Dallas, TX. Archer's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In it Archer discusses the A Block that he's in as part of NJPW's G1, his tag team partner Davey Boy Smith Jr leaving NJPW, wanting to hurt Will Ospreay, Will Ospreay and Seth Rollins' Twitter feud, NJPW's creative process, the ROH - NJPW relationship and more.