One of professional wrestling's most storied journeymen is 22-year veteran Low Ki. The agile and aerial competitor has won titles across numerous promotions such as Ring of Honor, TNA, and NJPW, and currently calls Major League Wrestling home.
One of the only promotions Low Ki did not see gold in was WWE. Low Ki competed in and won the second season of the game-show era of NXT under the name Kaval. Speaking to Wrestling Inc.'s Raj Giri, Low Ki says his independence intimidated the top brass at World Wrestling Entertainment.
"They're scared," Low Ki said. "Why? Because they didn't make me. Why? Because I'm groomed the old fashioned way. I gained my experience. I'm a journeyman, and on top of that, I perform at a higher level than those guys even think. So, why am I going to sit there and walk in? I'm going to pay attention to the behaviors of the people who are supposed to be in charge, I pay attention to their behaviors, and I'm supposed to sit there and listen to them and watch how they treat other people? And I'm supposed to sit there and let them do the same thing to me? Notice, I don't point anyone out and condemn them. Or even ten years later, I don't single anyone out and say they did this and they did that. I have plenty of those stories, but I haven't done that. Why? Because I don't need to."
"Everyone who has left that company, how many of them speak positively?" Low Ki said. "So I keep saying the same thing. I'm ten years removed. You still have the same people in charge. So why do you think the same behaviors are occurring? So why do you think the same arguments are being made? Am I outspoken? I'm not outspoken, I'm honest. They don't like that, especially when it's going to destabilize their supposed frame of reference of being in charge. Everywhere that I go, because I'm honest, I piss everyone off, because there's a culture that exists in the environment of 'this is how things are.' I change that s--t all the time, and I'm not trying to play games with anybody because there are things that have to be accomplished, and we don't have time to waste.
"It's the culture that we're always fighting against. Me being at my size, everybody has s--t to say, but they never say it face to face. Why is that? I'm not walking around acting like a tough guy. When have you ever heard of me getting into fights with anybody outside? This is the thing that has always bugged me out. I've maintained my position as a true professional from the start. No matter what, everyone has something to say."
As for why WWE is still able to operate the way they do, Low Ki claims it comes from a culture of blackmail. He mentions how some people are obedient in their positions because they don't want dirt on them getting resurfaced.
"I don't worry about what people have to say, I never have. But the thing is I knew before going in there that they were terrified of somebody like me because I'm not intimidated," Low Ki said. There's a lot of fear that goes on there because people are hiding a lot of bad s--t that they did and they don't want people finding out about it. But they got to try to make sure they're holding something over someone else to make sure no one is keeping track of what they're doing. The thing is, this is not how you operate a business. But they've been allowed to do it for so long, and now they got new people coming into the environment, thinking that they can get away with these positions of authority, and they're ruining the environment. If I'm not there, how am I able to articulate ideas that are still occurring in the PC and [I haven't been] in the company for ten years? They only come from assessment, because I'm paying attention. I understand how to get people to produce, but I'm not going to insult anybody's intelligence by doing so."
MLW is currently undergoing #TheRestart after being on hiatus earlier this year due to the global pandemic. Low Ki is one of a few wrestlers leading the charge of MLW's relaunch, alongside a number of familiar faces. Speaking on ACH's return to the promotion, Low Ki says he's looking forward to mixing it up with the former Jordan Myles.
"I think it would be an exciting matchup, that's for sure," Low Ki said. "I've seen him grow into the man he is today. I'm not as familiar with what everyone may know about his experience in WWE because I just don't know about it. I can't comment on that, but in regards to him being in Major League Wrestling, I'm all for it. I saw him advance and develop in the first year of the re-launch, and he was doing real well for himself, and then he moved on. Now that he's back, you can see he looks a little denser, a little bulkier. That's the type of excitement that we need, especially for tournaments. Guys who are in great shape, guys who can go, and guys with that high-level experience.
Low Ki praised ACH's in-ring work, saying his style lends itself well to MLW.
"His match with, I believe it was Laredo, first round, very physically taxing. And what people don't realize is that the different styles carry different costs on the body. It's almost like a video game, where you play with different characters and they come with different attributes. Some guys they can go all day, some guys they only got gas to go for short bursts. ACH and Laredo, they put on a huge physically taxing match, and it's a shame because there were no people there. But these guys showed up and got busy, and that's what we need."
ACH signed with MLW in December 2019, but shortly after announced his retirement from professional wrestling. The retirement proved to be brief, as ACH returned to the ring just a few weeks later. It wasn't until last month that ACH returned to MLW as part of the 2020 Opera Cup. Low Ki says that despite ACH's year away from the MLW ring, the aforementioned competitor is even better than he was before.
"ACH being back in Major League Wrestling I think is a great asset, and he's another floating threat," Low Ki said. "I think there's a lot of people that don't see him as a viable threat, but this is what happens with journeymen who do this for so long. People forget about them, people think they're drifting in the background. While they're back there, they're gaining experience."
With over two decades of wrestling experience under his belt, Low Ki is beginning to transition to helping the next generation. While the five-time TNA X Division Champion is ready to make an impact backstage, he emphasized that he still has a lot of gas left in the tank.
"For me at this stage, I'm leaning more towards behind the camera," Low Ki said. "It's just a logical transition, I'm not fighting father time. Physically, I know I can still go. Physically, I know I can still go at the main event level. Physically, I know I can still go probably another ten years at my style. That's the thing about this, I'm a pro wrestler. I didn't do this just because I wanted to get on TV."
During his extensive career, Low Ki has competed in high-caliber matches against the likes of Bryan Danielson, Prince Devitt, and Kota Ibushi. While all those matches occurred in different promotions, Low Ki says he has his sights set on a "super fight" against a UFC legend in MLW.
"I'm still aiming for big things. I still want to face Georges St. Pierre in Major League Wrestling for a super fight," Low Ki said. "That's what I want. I want to go after things that are one of or probably the hardest challenges I can face, but then at the same time, these are things that will keep people's interest where they'll listen and go, 'Wait, what did he just say? Georges St. Pierre? What did he just say? Alcatraz? What? This guy's a maniac! I got to see this.'
While a potential super fight against GSP would be quite the career accomplishment, Low Ki says he is more focused on what the match could do for MLW.
"And I still got a lot of time, but at the same time, I don't just have to do it for me anymore," Low Ki said. "Conquering individual accomplishments is one thing, having this company erupt onto a world stage? That's what I want. Why? Because that's what I did. That's why I aim high. I want Georges St. Pierre. Am I trying to fight him five rounds? No. This is an MLW super fight. This is a different element, a different animal. But are both sides qualified? Oh yeah. Something like that, that would be exciting. I already know where I want it. Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Why? That's both our territory."
The GSP fight is Low Ki's main focus at the moment, but he says he is constantly thinking of new concepts and potential money match-ups.
"Just because I'm thinking of this stuff now, give me another month or two," Low Ki said. "I'll probably have more [ideas]. It's always consistent with me. I'm always going after more and more. So for Major League, I want them blasted on the world stage, and if I got to do it, you know what? I'm in."
Low Ki'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.