Back in October of 2020, Conrad and Val of the Nearfalls podcast sat down with rising New Zealand pro wrestler, Taylor Adams. The guys spoke on practically everything, from the tired “how did you first get into wrestling”, to the more specific questions – plans for the bi-weekly 2WF series, aspirations to challenge for the 2AW Openweight Championship and the good and bad of being a foreigner in Japan. Find the transcription in its entirety below, and listen to the audio here:
Before we start with the questions, congratulations on your twelve years of being a pro wrestler. That’s quite a long career, so congratulations on that.
How did you first get started in wrestling? Was there a specific moment when you were younger, where you kind of felt… “I really want to do this,” or was it more of a general pipe dream that was there for a few years before you decided one day to take the first step?
It’s really hard to pinpoint the exact moment. I remember the first time I ever saw wrestling. I think I was about six. We had WCW on TV back in New Zealand, but it was like a month, or two months later, or something ridiculous. And it was on really late at night. So, I only ever saw little bits of it. And then, I remember when I was about 10, that’s when I really started to catch on. I started watching WWE, all that sort of thing. I do remember specifically when I realised, like. “wow, this is awesome, I love it.” It was the Iron Man match on Smackdown between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle.
I think that was about 2003. So, yeah, then from that moment, I was just really hooked. And truth be told, I don’t know if that was like the exact pivotal moment where I said “that’s what I’m going to do”, you know? But that’s kinda when it all clicked. I was hooked from then, and the rest is history.
You first started wrestling in New Zealand, obviously your home country. You went in places like IMPACT pro-wrestling, Kiwi Pro-Wrestling, New Zealand Pro-Wrestling and Southern Pro-Wrestling. Then you went to Australia– I discovered a lot of promotions from Australia and nearby while making some research for this interview, which was quite interesting, by the way – Explosive Pro-Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Australia, ZERO1 Australia which I didn’t know existed. Was that an affiliate of Pro Wrestling ZERO1 in Japan?
So, the story about that one was… There was a company in Adelaide, Australia, and they were affiliated with Pro Wrestling ZERO1 in Japan. And Pro Wrestling ZERO1 actually had a tryout back in 2012. And I did the tryout. Unfortunately, I didn’t get picked to go to ZERO1 in Japan, but from there I got a connection with ZERO1 Australia. And yeah, I went over there and did some training over there and a show over there for them. They’re no longer called ZERO1 Australia; they now go as Wrestle Rampage. So that’s the story about that one. And then, a little while later, I went to Australia for MCW, Melbourne City Wrestling in Melbourne and PWA in Sydney.
I saw you also wrestled in between Mexico, I saw mainly Lucha Forever and AAA during your career. Anything that you have to say about Mexico, real quick?
Actually, I didn’t go to Mexico. So, Lucha Forever was in England. And AAA did a show in Japan, and I just happened to be in Japan at the time. So, I ended up just out of the blue, hearing that I was booked on a AAA show. So. So that was pretty weird to be honest; like “okay, cool.”
Speaking of Japan, that was the next move in your career, as late in 2016 you first started wrestling in Kaientai Dojo. Essentially, I’d like you to take us through how you got that opportunity to wrestle in K-Dojo in 2016. How did everything happen?
I think this story is a bit of a funny one, and it’s probably a bit different to most people’s kind of experience of going overseas and stuff like that. I was so I’d wrestled with wrestled in New Zealand from 2008, and this was the end of 2016. So this was eight years in.
And I was sort of wondering what the next logical step was. And I always wanted to go overseas and, you know, different styles – especially in Japan. I remember I was working an office job at the time, and I was just kind of sitting around bored on my computer and I just thought, “oh, I’m just going to look at airfares to Japan.” And then I saw it and I could afford it. And I just bought it.
I flew myself out there. I was very lucky, because I kind of backed myself into a corner because I bought the flights before I’d even organised a place to go.
Soon after I bought the flights, I emailed basically every promotion that I could, every wrestler I could find on Facebook and all sorts. And yeah, I was very lucky that K-Dojo got back to me. And yeah, they just said, ‘yeah, no problem. You can come. Yeah. Can you get to the dojo from the airport?’ And I said, ‘yeah, sure, no problem. I’ll work it out.’ So that’s kind of the story of my first trip here. Yeah. I did a few months here for the first trip, then went back to New Zealand and then flew myself out again; then flew myself out to England and then back to Japan a few more times.
Quite the unusual story. Just coming just going out there and pretty much reaching out to everyone. Definitely something I would not have expected, but I like that kind of story.
Yeah, I think I think the important thing is like when you go to a lot of these places is it’s just sort of backing yourself into a corner because I’ve tried in the past to reach out promotions and, you know, they get messages from foreign wrestlers every day. And so, I just thought, “I need to back myself into a corner; just buy the flights” and then the pressure is on me to make it work. Yeah. So that’s what I did, and it worked out.
How was it when you first arrived in Japan? I can only see it as a pretty big shock. Was it different to how you expected it to be, or did you adjust quite quickly?
I think I adjusted well to it. I always liked the culture and stuff over here. Coming from like a small town in New Zealand, it’s definitely a culture shock. Just the sheer amount of people and things like that. And, as well, trying to communicate in Japanese as well broken English, I feel is a bit of a skill, you know. Bits of broken Japanese here and there, bits of broken English and stuff like that. But yeah, I feel like I adapted pretty well and pretty quickly. I guess in the past nearly four years, it’s kind of almost become like a second home. Now I feel quite adjusted and quite at home here. I feel like my Japanese isn’t perfect, I’m still learning. I’m a little bit slow with it. So that could be better. But yeah, I feel like I’ve adjusted pretty well.
Was there anybody in particular when you got to Japan that helped you adjust at all, or did you set out on your own and integrate/immerse yourself in the culture?
I guess I kind of threw myself in the deep end of it. I’m very lucky, I have very good friends here and made friends pretty quickly with the guys over here. There are Kiwis that wrestle over here, too. I remember the first time I got here. Bad Luck Fale kind of took me aside. He would take me out and help me out and give me advice and stuff like that. He took me to see some of the sights and stuff like that.
The 2AW guys as well. It was always good just having people to talk to and stuff like that, but the Japanese guys are just lovely. That was always very helpful to me. So, yeah, made really great friends over here. Which, of course, is very helpful.
Well, speaking of the Japanese guys, who within the 2AW roster has been the biggest help for you in terms of becoming better at your craft?
Ayato Yoshida. He, literally, has become one of my best friends in the entire world. We’re pretty inseparable most of the time. So, yeah, we go out and we do all sorts of fun stuff and go out eating and drinking and all that kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny how you meet somebody who speaks an entirely different language and you just click really well, you know? And he’s incredibly talented as well. So he’s helped me a lot, with the in-ring stuff, you know? He’s always full of ideas and can pull you aside and say, “try this, try that,” you know? And his English is good, too.
Yeah, we could tell with 2WF.
Yeah, it’s funny. We picked up like little bits of broken English and broken Japanese. Like, from each other. He’s one of my best friends in the whole world, really. Can’t speak highly enough of that guy. Yeah. Yeah. He’d be the top one. But, as well, everybody else. I mean, everybody else is great, don’t get me wrong.
You know, it seems like there’s a good sense of camaraderie within the whole roster. I think that’s what stood out to me, that’s the word I’m looking for – ‘stood out to me’ – when I started watching the promotion – 2WF helped a lot in that.
Yeah, I think the thing with 2WF specifically, you can kind of see that me and Yoshida are just two good mates having fun and having a good time. Yeah. It’s always fun to be around him. He made that 2WF show so much fun. I’d love to do a season three. That would be so much fun.
Did your perspective and approach to wrestling evolve, especially now after about 4 years in what is seen in the west as a different wrestling culture? Has anything changed regarding you, your habits, the way you train or the way that you put a match together?
Yep. I think the main thing, (I’m sure there’s others), the most important thing as a wrestler – some people might disagree, or agree, or whatever – but one of the most important things is being versatile. For example, when I go back home, the crowds in New Zealand are a lot different from the crowds in Japan. So it’s a bit of a change in the style. In my opinion, anyway. You know, everyone’s got different opinions.
I feel like, you know, a lot of the shows back home is sort of maybe the fans just know WWE or maybe they’re just casual fans, or kids. or something like that. So that crowd needs to be catered to in a different way from, for example, most Japanese crowds are very… What’s the word? They are a bit more purist. So they’ll sit and watch quietly and they’re a bit more respectful and stuff like that. Whereas if you go back home, if you’ve got a crowd of 50 or 100 noisy kids, you know, you change up, change up your match and change up your style in order to suit that crowd. Yeah. And it’s different wherever you go, I guess. Yeah. And then over in the U.K., obviously, you’ve got sort of the more adult-oriented crowd and the, you know, the bigger promotions like PROGRESS and stuff like that. So you would change your change your style to suit that sort of crowd. Yes, I feel like it’s about being versatile and adapting to wherever you are. Yeah. Yeah. I hope that makes sense. I’m kind of rambling on.
Yeah, it does make sense. Especially the part about crowds. Definitely fans, depending on what they’re used to watching. Obviously they… well, I say ‘they’; but I mean like, all three of us, both of us as fans, depending on what we watch… especially live crowds – we tend to act a little bit differently. Like, if you’ve been watching a lot of WWE, obviously the crowd, as you said, is more noisy. A lot more chanting. Yes. It’s a little different in Japan. And they don’t react to the exact same things.
Mm-hmm. Yeah. So, back home, I do a bit more character work. A lot of crowds and stuff like that are like, you know, full of kids and stuff, doing some funny stuff, you know, throwing a bit of comedy and stuff like that. Stuff you might not see as much of in Japan. It still exists, but it’s all about catering to your audience and being versatile with whatever audience you have, I think. And that’s the main thing I’ve taken away from wrestling in different places and in front of different crowds, I think. Yeah.
Well, that’s a great point and a great transition as you talked about character work because we’re going to talk about your persona next, The Harajuku Heartbreaker – we’ve seen you play both roles with it; being more – well, let’s use the word ‘babyface’ role, and sometimes you’ve been working a little bit as a cockier character, rubbing it in on your opponents during matches. What I’d like to know about your character – were there any influences for that Harajuku Heartbreaker character? And when did you decide that it was time to go with it? How was it born?
Back in New Zealand, I think I’m kind of known for being a bit more of a quirky character than I am in Japan. And I was like saying to myself, “how can I bring something a bit more flamboyant into working over here?” Yeah. I had the colourful tights and stuff like that. And then I was shopping for ring jackets and I just stumbled across what I stumbled across and then dyed my hair to match it for that kind of thing. And it just kind of evolved. And yeah, it just kind of happened organically, I think, yeah. It’s hard to pinpoint an actual moment.
Were there any specific wrestlers that just helped to trigger the idea, wrestlers that you saw when you were younger?
Honestly, I didn’t. For what I have been doing in 2AW, the Harajuku Heartbreaker, I didn’t really take any influence from wrestlers. I’m sure there’s similar wrestlers, but I actually looked to like pop stars and rock stars and stuff like that… And, yeah. And the area is named after Harajuku, known for its outlandish kind of fashion, and style, and colourful hair and all that kind of thing. Yeah, that’s kind of where it all came from. Elements of that. Yeah. Music and TV. I like to take influences from things outside of wrestling.
So, the influences from outside of wrestling. Would you say that could aid you moving forward? Let’s say if you wanted to break into or bring 2AW into the mainstream, people could think “Oh, this guy, he’s flamboyant, he’s kind of like the rock stars that I listen to.” and you would resonate with them more?
Yeah, I think that’s something. I think more wrestlers should do that. Like, look to other forms of media or entertainment and stuff like that for ideas. Obviously, you know, I watch a lot of wrestling and get a lot of ideas for my in-ring stuff, and so do other guys.
I feel like you can draw so much from, like, media and entertainment and stuff like that. I’ve done a lot of other gimmicks, actually. Back in New Zealand, for example. And yeah, it was always influenced by kinds of people outside of wrestling. I like to look just outside of wrestling to tell other forms of entertainment things. And yeah, that’s kind of where I take my influence from.
That’s definitely an interesting story. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the story behind your current persona.
This is moving away from what we’ve spoken about, how is it wrestling in Korakuen Hall? How is the environment? The crowd interaction? Is it like other, smaller venues? How was the overall experience for you as a wrestler? By the way, congratulations on getting your first winning fall at GRAND SLAM in August!
I mean, it’s obviously really cool to say ‘oh, I’m wrestling in Korakuen Hall’ and all and all that sort of thing, just because it’s a very prestigious venue and all that sort of thing. This year, since the Corona thing, it’s…Numbers are down a lot. So it has been a little bit difficult. But at the same time…it’s just awesome at the same time, being able to wrestle in such a prestigious venue.
In terms of the crowd, Japanese wrestling fans are very loyal to the promotion they’re a fan of. So we get a lot of the same people that will come to, for example, a show at the dojo in Chiba, will come to Korakuen Hall. So it’s very similar. They sit there nice and quietly and respectfully and stuff like that. And saying that, for example, a main event, big singles match, they sort of get into it a bit more and they’ll gasp and yell and all that kind of thing. Korakuen Hall’s just awesome. Really, just great. Yeah.
And most definitely one of the greatest venues in Japan. You know, even when you go to it for, like, the tenth time, it’s still special to wrestle there.
Yeah. Yeah. Every time. It’s always a special, special feeling. It’s just so cool, really. It’s sort of one of the places, you know, growing up where you grow up watching wrestling, you see these guys in these venues and you think ‘Wow, it would be great to wrestle there.’ And you know, coming here and getting an opportunity to do that is… It’s awesome. Yeah, it’s great. Yeah.
All right. Moving on now, I would like to ask you some of your thoughts on 2AW’s Joshi wrestlers, Ayame Sasamura and Rina Shingaki. Can you give us some words about them? And would you say they have a bright future?
Yeah, definitely. I would. I think the second time I came here was when they were two trainees, so they hadn’t debuted yet. You might know it as, like, the young boy training – or young girl in their case. So I saw first-hand what they had to go through. Yeah. And they both… Yeah. Bloody tough as nails, really. Yeah. They get in there with the guys and a lot of the guys here a lot bigger. You know, twice the size, twice the weight. And yeah they get in there and they hold their own which is great to see. And yeah, definitely. Two bright futures, I think. Both just tough as nails.
Yeah, that most definitely. It’s crazy. It’s pretty impressive. I think I saw- I don’t exactly remember if it was it was Sasamura or Shingaki. But she was facing with one of the bigger guys in the roster. And it’s always quite impressive to see the different dynamic there.
Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think that because a lot of the companies here are either all men or all women, I think because we have both, it opens up new possibilities for different kinds of matches. Having the girls go against, you know, the bigger guys or something like that. Yes. I think that’s good. Yeah. But yeah, they’re both…they’re both great.
Yeah. Speaking a little bit more on Joshi wrestlers. Do you think, as time goes by, we might see more of them in 2AW?
I hope so, yeah. I think maybe a lot of girls go to the specifically Joshi promotions, all-girls promotions. But I think it would be really good to get more and more girls coming in through this dojo. So I’m very hopeful for the future. I hope that does happen. I know we have applications open at the moment for young trainees. So with a bit of luck, hopefully, we’ll get a few girls in there as well. That’d be great. Yeah.
On the back of the trainee thing, could you talk to us about the current crop of rookies in 2AW? Even with big companies like New Japan and All Japan, I still hold that the 2AW young boys are the most promising. But who, would you say, has the most potential out of everybody? And is there anybody in particular out of that group that you’d like to work with a bit more moving forward?
Of the four of the young boys that we have at the moment. I’ve only gotten to work with Daiju Wakamatsu. He’s awesome. Big future. He’s jacked already, he looks insane. Looks like a model. Yeah. The other ones, I haven’t had a chance to wrestle yet. So I’m really hoping that that happens in the near future. Obviously, I train with them every day, so I’ve practised learning with them and stuff like that. Yeah. But I would really like to get on with the other three because they all have massive futures. Great, great intensity, I think. Yeah. The training here is very intense. So to survive it, it’s… yeah, it takes a lot of heart and willpower. Yeah. I agree with what you said. The batch to young guys here at the moment is awesome. So I’m really hoping I can get the ring with the rest of them sometime soon.
And like truly seeing them, seeing the likes of obviously Daiju Wakamatsu, which you talked about. Naka Shuma, Chicharito Shoki, who was one of the two, three ones who started this year; and formerly from WRESTLE-1, Takuro Niki who came recently. There’s definitely a bright future for these guys. I got to watch a good bunch of them on 2WF, and in the likes of opening matches during the GRAND SLAMs and stuff like that. These guys really are good at showing fire, you know.
I feel like once they kind of get past that, that young boy stage and they can kind of develop themselves into their own brand and their own image and characters and stuff like that, I think. Yeah. I think they’ll be great.
2WF, for those who do not know what this is – it’s a bi-weekly Instagram/YouTube exclusive wrestling product. Some of the 2AW younger talents wrestle matches against an opponent that nobody knows. They’re mystery opponents. The first season was late June and a bit of July, I believe. During the lockdown.
There was a season two – that was in September if I recall correctly. It was August – September. What we wanted to ask you about this was how did the concept come to fruition, essentially? Was this something new that came out from you and Ayato [Yoshida] or was it suggested by the company? How did it become a thing, essentially?
I think it was just originally an idea from the office. It was kind of a way of getting content out during – I think for you guys it was a lockdown – for us it was a state of emergency. So, we had no shows from the end of March until the start of July. We had no shows with fans. We had a few that were filmed for TV. For Samurai TV. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. So it was a way of getting content out and keeping people fresh. Keeping the ring rust out as well for the younger guys.
We did season one during the state of emergency – or the lockdown for you guys. And then we had a break for a few weeks. And then we came back for season two because it seemed like people enjoyed it. So yeah. There was a Japanese announce table on YouTube that was broadcast live. And, yeah, me and Ayato did English announcing on Instagram live. All of those matches are still on the 2AW Instagram page.
We’d do it twice a week for a set number of weeks each season. So yeah, if you want to check that out and haven’t seen it already, head on over to the 2AW Instagram page and check it out. That’s a lot of fun.
Definitely check that out. I can only recommend. I was following a lot of season one during the lockdown. It was just something really fun to watch, bringing a bit of a different presentation than we’re used to. Also, as fans of Japanese wrestling, it was really something really fun to witness. And, obviously, you and Ayato as broadcasters was really fun as well. You were close to the people on Instagram, so globally it was great.
I appreciate the good feedback, because we had a lot of fun making it, so I’m really hopeful we’ll do it again in the future. Yeah. We’ve got a lot. Yeah, we’ve got a lot of new followers, for example, on Instagram, just watching and watching every week. I’d be sort of broadcasting it and doing my commentary and then I’d see a bunch of my friends from back home or whatever tune in to watch. It was great. It was really, really fun. Very hopeful we can do it again.
Well, that already answers the next question I was just about to ask you. Would you like to see it continue, as a season-by-season thing, or make it like a regular thing like the Chibattle or GRAND SLAM events that you guys have?
I hope so. I wouldn’t want to oversaturated, if that makes sense? So, I think doing it in little increments, little seasons would be really cool. Maybe, you know one or a couple more seasons, or something like that. And as well, it’s just extra match time for the younger guys. So, you know, you can’t really go wrong with that extra match time. They get experience working in front of cameras and stuff like that. So, yeah, I think it would be a good idea. That’s not entirely my decision, but I am hopeful that we can do some more in the future.
Speaking of the younger guys – like obviously, when we look at some of the mystery opponents that we saw: Ayato Yoshida was one of them, I think Taishi Takizawa was one of them; Shu Asakawa as well. Some of the mainstays from 2AW, experienced guys going there and wrestling the younger talents. It can only be a good experience for them.
Yeah. It was always sort of the top goal. I think it was a good experience for everybody. And yeah, extra ring time is the only way that you can learn and get better.
Now, we’re going to talk about your 2WF broadcast partner, Just Reebok, a.k.a. Ayato Yoshida. Obviously, outside of his announcing duties, he’s the current 2AW Openweight Champion. Do you have plans to eventually challenge for that title? Or, well, any title in general, but eventually try to get to the top of the promotion eventually get that big title match and that big moment at some point?
Yeah. Absolutely. I feel like that’s what everybody’s kind of hoping for. I feel like I still have a little while to go; but, yeah, I feel like I’m improving all the time. I say that confidently, but also humbly. I know I’m doing my best to just get better and better every day. So obviously, I would love to one day be able to challenge, especially in a place like Korakuen Hall, you know, singles main event for a title at Korakuen Hall would just be, you know, a dream. So, yeah, that’s kind of the goal, really. And no matter who’s got it – if he’s got it, or if somebody else has got it, that’s…. Yeah, that’s the goal.
Like, I cannot wait to see that match whenever it happens, like that big main event featuring Taylor Adams would definitely be a match that people should check out.
Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, that’s funny. I’m naturally quite a nervous person. Like, I’m not the most confident person.
On the back of you saying the dream, so to speak, is a Korakuen Hall main event for that title – we obviously brushed over your times competing in that venue. But are there any other venues that you really want to compete in? Be it in 2AW, or maybe for another company?
Specifically here, or other places in the world?
Yeah. Yeah, obviously, Korakuen is awesome. Obviously, the top one would be the Tokyo Dome. Yeah. If I had to choose one, it’d be the Tokyo Dome. Other places you’ve got the main ones, like here you got the Tokyo Dome, in America, there’s Madison Square Garden. Mexico, Arena Mexico. And the Electric Ballroom.
Down in London.
Yeah, down in Camden. I helped out at a show there, doing the ring and all sorts, wrestling there would be really cool. To go back to New Zealand – SPW down in New Zealand. They’ve done a few stadium shows at the stadium in Invercargill, down in the bottom of New Zealand – they do twelve hundred into a basketball stadium. And I’ve always been away when that show’s happened. So that would be something I would really love to do in the future, working at the stadium down there.
So obviously, the top one, it’s the Tokyo Dome, other than that Electric Ballroom would be really cool. And back home in New Zealand and the stadium.
Next up, we’re going to talk about something which is not so pleasing – the recent calf injury that you had. The question I have, it’s slightly related to that injury and the time that you’ve been recovering.
Your last match was in August, if I recall correctly. It’s been around two months. During that recovery time, was there anything that changed about your views on wrestling? Is there anything that has changed, is there anything you’re going to have to adapt to [as a result of your injury]?
It’s funny. You were talking to me about my gimmick and stuff – I’m kind of giving myself a bit of a makeover for when I come back. Yes. My costume’s gonna be different. There’ll be a bit of a surprise to everybody when they see. Same old me, but I’m definitely feeling like now is my time to break out and show what I can do.
I would like to channel a little bit more seriousness into my matches. Yeah. It’s been a frustrating time, especially after the break. The break we had because of corona earlier in the year, which I can’t complain about because everybody was in the same boat. But yeah. Then this happened. It was heartbreaking. I’ve been very careful on it, I’ve been doing my upper-body weight training stuff, but I’ve been keeping off my calf.
But I have been back in the ring this week, doing practise and making sure I’m good to go. And it feels good. It feels great. It’s a little bit scary because when you run or when you jump, it’s all on your calf. But I’m fit. I’m feeling good and ready to go. So yeah, I’m excited for putting a different spin on my look and stuff. Stay tuned for Wednesday!
We’re going to have some nice things to look forward to whenever you return. So that’s pretty neat. Well then, we’re going to move on to the last part of this interview. We’ve got five little questions to ask you. Going back to 2AW – those who do drink, who would you say drinks the most?
Out of 2AW? Kaji Tomato. Definitely. Or Tatsuya Hanami.
I wasn’t surprised by Kaji, but Hanami surprises me.
Most of the time, it’s kind of forced down him. But he takes it like a champ. So yeah, probably one of those two, I think.
Next, we’re going to go back to actual wrestling questions. Give us three of your dream opponents to face from everywhere in the world.
Everywhere in the world. Hiroshi Tanahashi, John Cena. and– Tanahashi, John Cena… The third one is tricky. I think for me. I would… I’m going to put two; the third one I would put either Kenta Kobashi from here or just to go back to when I was a kid, somebody like Undertaker.
All great, great wrestlers, obviously great, great characters as well. Nice picks. Like, I would be interested in seeing Taylor Adams vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, definitely.
I think that would be number one. Yeah.
Two different types of flamboyance, coming together. A lot of charisma in that match, I think.
I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you.
Now, moving on to a general one that I’m sure everybody – both wrestlers and the wrestling fandom – is asked at one point or another. What is your all-time favourite match?
That I’ve watched, or been in?
Kenta Kobashi vs Kensuke Sasaki from the Tokyo Dome. Yeah. Great match. Yeah, I love it. Chop festival. Yeah. There’s so many. But yeah. If I had to pick one right off the top of my head right now, that would be it.
That’s one of my favourites as well. Definitely a great pick! I’ll say this, you have great taste.
Oh, thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Yeah. Speaking of matches, we’re going to move on, which about talking about matches which you’ve taken part in. With all the matches that you have taken part in, which is the match that you would say you’re the most proud of to this day? Or, more generally, the one which really stands out to you?
It’s back in New Zealand, actually, against – I’m sure you’ve heard of him – TK Cooper. I had a match with him back in 2017, for SPW. And I’ve never watched it back because I don’t want to ruin it for myself. But that was for SPW, down in Invercargill, New Zealand. And that was a huge, huge crowd for New Zealand, about 600 people. And he liked the match. Will Ospreay was there and he liked the match and, yeah, it was kind of the first time I ever felt like, “oh, I’m not really bad, I’m actually OK.”
And I’ve never watched it back. I don’t think I ever will. I’m sure to him, it was just another day at the office. But, for me, it really felt, like, special. So, yeah. Against TK Cooper at SPW. In Invercargill, back in 2017. There’s a bunch of others, but that one stands out to me. Yeah.
That’s a good pick. I’m going to hunt it down if I can now that you mentioned it. Yeah. And as we said at the beginning of this segment – to end this interview. First though, thank you again for agreeing to do this, we really appreciate it!
And thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Yeah, so now the story – what is your favourite story, or your favourite experience from Japan or in 2AW or anything in your time as a wrestler?
Just anything like wrestling specifically?
Obviously, the first time in Korakuen was a big deal for me. That was a huge crowd, which was cool. I think it was pretty much sold out. The first time I ever wrestled there. A very short match. But it was still quite surreal. Yeah.
I always have the memory of my first day landing in Japan, not knowing any Japanese, and just making my way from the airport to the dojo, walking around trying to find a taxi or that kind of thing. I’m kind of like with tall white guy sticking out, looking around with my suitcases and things like that. Eventually, I find a taxi and then he takes me. But yeah, that was pretty scary. Yeah. Just walking around in a big city. No idea where it was. I had a screenshot of the Google map and all that kind of thing. But yeah, that was pretty scary. And that always sticks out to me. Like, I always remember that day really well. Landing at the airport and then making my way. I knew the train station. Well, I knew the train I was getting on and that was it. And then, luckily, I was able to communicate with the taxi driver. But, you know, that was one of the most, like, nerve-wracking days of my life. But it worked out well. But that’s it for me, one of my funny little memories that I always hang on to.
Surely the first time, the first time in a country like that, obviously being a big city as well. Obviously, it’s always an experience. An overwhelming kind of thing.
Yeah, definitely. Well, I’m a small-town lad. But yeah, like I said, it worked out well.
As well, just to finish – some of the food here, the first time you try it is also a bit of an experience. The best one’s probably raw horse meat. Sounds a bit weird, but it’s the most delicious thing ever if you’re ever here. Make sure you hunt out some raw horse, it’s amazing.
I’ll be sure to remember. Well, on that quite tasty note, we will be ending this interview. Obviously thanks a lot Taylor for joining us and accepting to do this interview. Where can people follow you on social media (and follow 2AW)?
Yeah. So my social media is I’m on Instagram and Twitter is @tayloradamspw. PW stands for ‘pro wrestler’. And I also have a Facebook page. Taylor Adams – Pro Wrestler, which I don’t update enough, but I’m more active on Instagram. Probably. But if you want to give me a like on Facebook, that’d be cool too. 2AW is 2AWOffice on Instagram and Twitter and on YouTube as well. Yeah.
Taylor, thank you again for joining us and thank you for your work in 2WF. Lockdown for myself and a lot of others was difficult, and that really brightened my midweek and the end of my week. So I want to thank you for that as well.
I’m glad to hear it. It makes me very, very happy to hear. And, you know, thanks to you guys for having me on.
Yeah, of course!
All right. Cool. Thanks, guys. See you again. Thank you very much.