NJPW Star Lance Archer recently caught up with our own Michael Wiseman of Wrestling Inc. During the discussion, Archer described what it's like to have appeared in his fifth G1 Climax. Archer was glad to have an opportunity to revitalize his character and show audiences a new side of the "American Psycho" during the G1.
"It was really cool because it was actually not my first one - I've been a part of five [G1 Climaxes] now. I did four in a row 2011, '12, '13, and '14. I did about a five-year hiatus but was brought back into it. Being with New Japan for the last eight years, it was really cool because it was kind of a resurgence, a chance to reinvent, to reestablish," Archer said. "To kind of tell people, 'This is who the 'American Psycho' Lance Archer is. Not who you thought I was, but this is who I am now and who I am going forward.'
"So it was really cool just reinventing myself, changing my look, my image, my intensity, my ring-work style, everything that went along with it," Lance continued. "It was really cool. And knowing the platform that the G1 Climax is now being on AXS TV, obviously New Japan World, Fite TV, all those different platforms, everyone in the world is watching so it was a really cool moment."
With companies like his own NJPW and The Women Of Wrestling appearing on AXS TV, as well as the upcoming "Wednesday Night War" between AEW on TNT and WWE NXT on the USA Network, Archer sees this as an opportune time to be involved in the business. He noted how NJPW specifically has grown into a global phenomenon since he first started working with them.
"It's just really cool for the wrestling world all together. I think we're in a time of professional wrestling that we just really never have seen. There were the old school territory days you talk about, then there were the Monday night wars with WCW and WWF and whatnot, and it's been a long time" Archer said. "And right now, because WWE is still making the money that it's making and doing what it's doing; the biggest company in the world still, but you've got a lot of companies that are on their heels. And wrestling fans are the ones that are fueling this which is what makes it amazingly cool.
"New Japan Pro Wrestling is a company that's been around for about fifty year," Lance went on. "And now, all of a sudden, we're taking over the world with the U.S. market, the U.K. market, Australia, CMLL Mexico and everything that's going on down there, AEW which is the reason that everybody is here in Chicago this weekend with Starrcast and everything that's happening... Everything is getting so big and everything has been so cool, and the fan base is supporting it in ways that I don't think they've ever done before. That's what's making it really cool."
Archer delved deeper into this potential "war" between WWE and AEW. Lance believes that when all is said and done, pro wrestling fans are going to tune in to both products. Whether it's to genuinely watch and enjoy or criticize online, Archer thinks that this move is only going to result in more eyes on both promotions.
"The fun thing about the 'Wednesday Night Wars' is, obviously, you're throwing back to the Monday Night Wars, but that was a different time. You had to have two VCRs, and you had to tape everything, and you had to make a choice - you either watch WWF or you watch WCW, or you watch one half of one show and the last half of the second show or whatever the case was back then," Lance explained. "Now, in an era of DVR and all that stuff, it's a different time frame.
"But I think the fun part about it is that people are going to want to watch both products," Archer admitted. "I think that the amount of talent that is in NXT at the moment, the amount of talent that's in AEW at the moment, if they're tuning in on Wednesday night, they're going to make sure they watch both products. They're probably not going to just choose one or the other. They're going to be very vocal on Twitter, and social medias, and stuff with which one they like the best for that night, but they're going to watch both of them. I don't think it's going to be necessarily a case where, back in those days, most people just either watched WCW or they just watched WWF. Now they're going to want to watch both because they're going to want to see everyone that's wrestling on those products, and they want to compare them, and they want to talk about who's their favorites, and so on and so forth."
When asked about which company, WWE NXT or AEW, Archer would be more interested in signing with, he answered Wiseman's question with a question of his own.
"Who's paying me more?" was Archer's simple response.
The full audio from Archer's interview was included as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. You can listen to full interview via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post, or via the video player at the top.