NJPW wrestler David Finlay made an appearance on The Wrestling Inc. Daily and was asked about his parents’ reaction to his decision to become a pro wrestler. He noted that he is a fourth-generation wrestler with the business playing a part in the lives of most of his family.
“There was never any hesitation. Both my parents, actually, always wanted me to do whatever made me happy,” Finlay said. “For me it just so happen to be wrestling is what I want to pursue, so I think he was a little extra happy that I wanted to follow in his footsteps because like he grew up in wrestling. Like my grandfather was a promoter [and] a wrestler. [He] built his own ring. My great-grandfather same thing.
“So like it’s just been ingrained in our family. Like we’re a family of wrestlers. Like even my brother and sister, who are younger than me, they were amateur wrestlers in their youth as well, so like we’re just a family full of wrestlers. So the fact that I wanted to continue wrestling, I think he was really really happy about it.”
Finlay has credited his father, Fit Finlay, for teaching him everything about the wrestling business. He talked about how he had a ring at his parents’ house and how his dad would sometimes put him in the ring and mess around.
“Yeah, so I guess my first like dad taking me to the ring and showing me around, I must have been like 11 or 12 because I’ve gone on the road with him for like a week during the summers, and he would get me in the ring and teach me how to bump, teach me how to wrestle and all this stuff,” Finlay recalled. “And I just, kind of like periodically, would get taught stuff. I’ve had a ring at my parents’ house since I was 15, but dad was always on the road. He’d come back and only be home for two days.”
David also recalled his father wanting to tag with him for his retirement match. He said his father was very casual when he said that he had never wrestled and had no gear.
“So I was kind of, maybe not a pushover, but just like I was more conscientious of his time at home,” Finlay said. “So I wouldn’t press like, ‘hey dad, let’s go in the ring,’ and then finally he was like, ‘I’m gonna retire.’ This is like in 2012. ‘I’m gonna retire. You want to do a tag match with me for my last match?’ I hadn’t wrestled yet.
“So I was just like, yeah, OK, thinking like this is one of those things like a whimsical idea that will never happen. About two days later, he’s like, ‘OK, we’re going to Germany in two weeks.’ But dad, I don’t know how to wrestle. I don’t have gear. What are we gonna do. He’s like, ‘ah, whatever.’ He brings me to the ring for a crash course for like five days, and then it was off to the races from then.”
In 2008, JBL revealed that Hornswoggle was not Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son but actually Fit Finaly’s son. David told a story to The Wrestling Inc. Daily host Nick Hausman about a talk he had with his mother where she told him that if he was asked if Hornswoggle was his brother, he had to say, “yes.” This led David to make up stories as to why his “brother” Hornswoggle doesn’t live with him.
“So funny story about this. I think they revealed that Hornswoggle is my father’s son on RAW,” Finlay recalled. “My mom’s never been in the wrestling of the business. She’s been around my dad. They’ve been together for a very long time. I was in middle school about 7th or 8th grade. She sat me down, and she was like, ‘David, this is what they’re gonna do on TV tonight, which means tomorrow when you go to school, all of your friends are going to be asking if this is your brother? You have to tell them yes.’ I’m like, ‘what?’ She goes, ‘you have to tell them yes.’ Alright.
“So I go to school and sure enough. ‘Is that your brother? Is that your brother? Is that your brother?’ And I have to go, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah.’ But then of course, that’s not good enough for my friends, so they’re asking all these follow-up questions like, ‘how come he doesn’t live with you?’ So I’m having to like BS on my friend on the spot because my mom told me I have to tell them that that’s my brother. Wrestling family man.”
The NJPW Strong tournament for the IWGP United States title has begun with David picking up a win over Chase Owens. David will face Tama Tonga in the next round, but Jeff Cobb is on the other side of the bracket, and David gave his praise for Cobb.
“I love Jeff Cobb to death as a person,” Finlay remarked. “I think he’s an insane wrestler. He’s an Olympian. I feel like that doesn’t get talked about enough. He’s also the strongest human I’ve ever met in my life. Like no lie.
“I’ve been with him in the Tag League, but luckily, I’ve been on his side more than I have been opposing him. So like I’ve been fortunate. He’s just made of steel. He’s so strong. I can’t emphasize that enough how strong he needs.”
David was asked if this tournament is his opportunity to showcase his skills as a singles wrestler. He is a former IWGP Tag Team Champion and NEVER Openweight Six-Man Champion, but he hopes that this tournament and show what he can do as a singles star and help him gain more fans.
“100%. I love tag team wrestling, like it’s my favorite style of wrestling,” Finlay stated. “It’s what I’m passionate about, but I’ve only been given as many opportunities to showcase that I can go as a singles wrestler. So this is a good opportunity for me to show what I am capable of and hopefully, gain a couple more fans.”
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.