NJPW wrestler David Finlay made an appearance on The Wrestling Inc. Daily to discuss NJPW STrong. During his appearance NJPW’s parternships with North American promotions, most notably their long-running relationship with ROH, were brought up by host Nick Hausman. This interview was recorded before Ring of Honor’s announcement of TV tapings, but Finlay said on the podcast that he would be open to seeing ROH and NJPW in a working relationship.
“I think there might be some kind of working relationship in talks. I’m not really 100% sure though,” Finlay noted. “I mean I’m open to it. I would like to honestly wrestle as much as I can. So like I’m happy to go wrestle for anybody.”
Finlay noted though that he feels that NJPW doesn’t need to be in a working relationship with another promotion. He said that he would like inter-promotional matches just to see potential dream matches in different promotions.
“I don’t think we need it to be honest,” Finlay admitted. “I think we’re past the point of we need to get in the market. I think we’re in the market. I think we don’t need anybody else’s help, but there’s a lot of like good talent out there that you might want to see in a New Japan ring and you might want to see independent guys in a ROH ring. I always like inter-promotion stuff. It’s a good way to switch it up and keeps things interesting. So it can’t hurt.”
Finlay dislocated his shoulder last year causing him to miss most of the year before returning and winning the World Tag League and winning the IWGP Tag Team Championships. He related that experience to his time off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I mean, it felt very reminiscent of last year. I was out for eight months about the same amount of time I got hurt. In February this year, the whole pandemic happens. So like it’s weird. Like I felt like I just started getting the ball rolling, and then, the entire world stops. So it kind of took some adjusting and getting used to, and also like there’s really no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all been speculation of like, oh, well, maybe we’ll go back in a couple months.
“So it’s been frustrating a little bit, but also I’m just kind of focused on the positives. I got to spend time at home with my wife, my dogs and my cat. I get to see my family whole lot more because this is the kind of home I’ll probably never have again. I just kind of choose to focus on the positives.”
Finlay and many other NJPW and ROH wrestlers returned to action in NJPW Strong. Finlay described his experience of returning to the ring to his days in high school as a amateur wrestler.
“It was it was very strange at first, but it kind of reminded me of when I was in high school. I was on the wrestling team,” Finlay said. “So it was similar to like wrestling. You’re just going hard. There’s no one there. It’s just like man to man who’s better. So it kind of reminded me of that, my high school days, but I enjoyed it. Once you get used to the differences, you kind of don’t think about anymore, but I enjoyed all the wrestling.”
Finlay was asked how the pandemic has affected NJPW’s plans to expand in American. Finlay said that the hope is that once fans return that NJPW can grow more in America with a live audience in attendance.
“I mean the audience is the most obvious answer it’s kind it’s kind of hard to build, I guess, another territory from the ground up when you’ve got no people coming,” Finlay pointed out. “Right now, we’re solely based off of streaming and online which is fine. That’s great that we have that technology now to be able to get wrestling whenever you want it, but you just can’t beat being at a live show [and] having a live audience. It doesn’t compare. So I think that’s really what we need when we open back up.”
One opponent that Finlay could face in NJPW Strong is ROH’s Brody King. Finlay said that if not him, he could see King winning the tournament.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him. I think he’s got a possibility,” Finlay admitted. “I mean he has a chance to win it. I wouldn’t be surprised. I would like to win it. I’m trying to win it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brody in the finals. He’s a big boy, and he’s violent. And he hits hard.”
David Finlay can be seen Friday nights as part of NJPW Strong on NJPWWorld.com. You can follow him on Twitter @THEDavidFinlay. David’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.