Bullet Club Member Tama Tonga Talks Working In Japan, His Father Haku, Changing Japanese Crowds

In an interview with The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, Bullet Club member Tama Tonga talked about working with several huge Japanese stars, the overseas crowd, and his father Haku. It was also noted this was his first American interview. You can read the highlights below:


His father Haku, and if he wanted his son to wrestle:

"I wanted to wrestle right out of high school and he told me no. He told me to go do something else and get experience in life and do something, go to school or whatever just anything else. I ended up joining the Air-Force and he wanted me to do that first. I did that for about six years and when I came out I said 'alright, I'm ready now'."

The Japanese crowd reaction changing:

"We are actually seeing it change. When I first got there, they were very reserved and not making a lot of noise, only when a big thing happened they would get up and clap. With the last couple of years and with the Bullet Club we changed the game and how it is in New Japan. You see a mixture of not just the strong style but you are actually watching entertainment. These guys are athletic, talented and now you are watching something different not just the one style. With the fans, you are hearing them more. They are more vocal but in a good way not in a derogatory way. It's quite enjoyable."


Gedo & Jado's influence:

"They definitely have an American style in them. They like that style especially the older like 80s and 90s era. Gedo and them were in ECW so they have experienced it and actually they were also in Mexico with my Dad. Gedo is an absolute genius and it's all working right now which you can see with him in charge and we (The Bullet Club) are at the front of the game."

Working with Hiroshi Tanahashi:

"He is number one in the world. I truly 100% believe that he is the number one wrestler in all of the world today. Seeing him in ring and outside of the ring, he's a champion. Look at all of his matches, he can have great matches with everyone. All different styles of wrestling, he's just a pro."

On working with Kazuchika Okada:

"He is good! He has so much more room to grow, he is that good right now, that can you imagine how that may be? I know he is going to feel it and he is going to be a superstar."

On working with Shinsuke Nakamura:

"I've learned a lot from him. I paired up a lot with him when I started in New Japan and he sets the bar. He makes you want to go and get it. He is also really tough and easy going. If you want to be in the big leagues, follow him. It's been definitely a big learning experience with him and that's actually my Dad's favorite wrestler. He loves his wrestling. My Dad is unconventional and he loves that style, he loves Nakamura's style."


How he got his look and face paint:

"The artwork is actually from fans. I love to push it forward. The paint job is all me. My paint job is something that I picked up while growing up and playing video games. I owe a lot of it to Razor Ramon, I thought he was bad-ass and cool as hell and I wanted to portray that. You can tell as a character, I want to be scary but cool, appreciate that you can see the visual aspect."

You can listen to the full podcast at this link.