One of the most seasoned figures in all of pro wrestling, Sean Waltman has been all over the scene. The former WWE and WCW star has also called Impact Wrestling and AAA home. In the 90’s, however, he had a brief in Japan, competing in the Top of the Super Juniors tournament in 1993.
Speaking on his podcast, X-Pac 12360, Waltman reflected on his time over in Japan. One of his main problems over there was not speaking Japanese. He realized he needed to use his in-ring skills to speak to the crowd.
“When you have communication issues, that’s what you do. That’s why you have to know how to wrestle, too,” Waltman stated. “That’s why you have to know how to do that kind of stuff, so you can go out there, and even if you can’t talk to someone, you can go out there and be able to have a match with them. You can never go wrong with a little bit of wrestling in there.”
You can’t talk about the life of a pro wrestler without discussing travel. While it is different now due to alternatives in driving, Waltman recalls several times in which one method of transportation was utilized.
“When we would travel outside of Tokyo, it was all bus rides,” Waltman continued. “Even when we went to Hokkaido, which is an island, we drove the bus to Sendai, and then the bus got on a ferry. We went through a typhoon in that, actually. There’s this bath area in the ferry, hot tubs and stuff like that, water is spilling all out everywhere. That ferry ride was actually where the guys had enough and decided to start Michinoku Pro.”
In order to stand out in the pro wrestling scene, one’s moveset has to “wow” a crowd. The Japanese-style of wrestling is unique and very fast. Over time, it has changed in multiple ways. Waltman sees that with Japan and wrestling in general.
“[Wrestling styles are] all kind of mixed together these days. Even if you go to Mexico, some of the guys are still doing it traditional, but a lot of those guys in Mexico are working hybrid style now,” Waltman went on to say. “It’s kind of similar to MMA, in the early days. Now everybody trains in everything.
“It’s been fascinating to see how it’s all kind of come together and how the styles have meshed. I look forward to seeing it continue to evolve. Because it is, even in the last few years, I see things change and trends change. Guys are trying new things all the time, and we’re able to see those things because of the internet. It’s pretty cool.”
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