The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast welcomed “The Sauce” Alex Zayne on to talk about his appearances on NJPW Strong as well as his status with NJPW. Prior to NJPW Strong, Zayne had wrestled for NJPW on NJPW Showdown In Los Angeles and on the NJPW The New Beginning In USA 2020 tour. Zayne noted to Wrestling Inc.’s Nick Hausman that everyone including himself is playing the waiting game in regards to signings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think with everything going on, I think everyone’s kind of playing the waiting game, and I’m just really honored and pleased to be doing anything, of course, with them,” Zayne expressed. “Anything at all is great right now much less with something as prestigious as New Japan. So it’s just great to get to work with them, and I think we’ll see quite a bit more of me around on the New Japan U.S. side of things, until of course, things open up. That’s where I see it headed right now.”
Hausman noted that NJPW Strong is part of NJPW’s plan to continue making inroads to the U.S. market. Zayne discussed how that seems to be the case and how NJPW can be fluid with their talents in Japan and the United States.
“It seems that way,” Zayne agreed. “You got a lot of people that live over here in the states too that are already signed with them and stuff, and I think they’re really just trying to ramp up a lot of American viewership. I mean with Strong being primarily a U.S. based sub-series of some sort and then they just did Lion’s Break and that was American-based.
“It looks like they’re trying to ramp up the whole American side of things, and that’s really cool too because then it has, in the future, more New Japan American-based shows. Then the whole audience over here can get more, and then there’s more of like the American-based talent going over there hopefully. The future is bright as far as New Japan goes. It looks really cool.”
Ring of Honor’s Brody King appeared on NJPW Strong as well signaling that ROH has allowed talent to crossover between promotions. Zayne has also wrestled a few times for ROH, and he discussed the possibility of him returning to ROH especially with ROH doing TV tapings and running back up.
“I’ve done two shows with ROH as is, and originally I was on my third show with ROH. And we were in Vegas when the pandemic hit, like when they announced it, and they canceled that show,” Zayne explained. “I’m definitely still in talks with them as far as doing some stuff and just working some things. No dates or anything confirmed, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you see me back in a Ring of Honor because I’m ready, and hopefully they’re ready. I know they’re just getting in the swing of things, getting getting back to it.”
NJPW Strong does not feature a live audience. Zayne said he thought the experience of wrestling without a crowd would be weirder than he thought, but he said muscle memory takes over once you’re in the ring.
“I thought it was gonna be more weird,” Zayne admitted. “I think [it was] just like riding a bike. Once you’re in there, you’re just in your zone that you’re typically in, and of course, it kind of comes with its own weird sort of timing. There’s not that audience to feed off of, but I thought it was going to to be weird, and I thought it was going to hurt a lot more just no adrenaline. But the adrenaline still there. You’re still performing. Your brain still takes it the same way.”
ACH recently made his return to NJPW in a six-man tag match with Zayne and TJP. Zayne talked about the learning experience of teaming with veterans like ACH and TJP.
“Oh, man, I loved it. They’re so good,” Zayne remarked. “It’s just a learning experience getting in with them because they’re world traveled, and they’ve been in the ring with everyone. And they’ve had incredible matches and just incredible runs amongst both of them. So I just got to learn a lot and just being around those guys and just listening and picking up bits and pieces. So hopefully it comes through in my work.”
Alex Zayne can be seen Friday night on NJPW World as part of NJPW Strong. You can follow him on Twitter @AlexZayne. Alex’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.