Interview With 2AW’s Taylor Adams

Interview With 2AW’s Taylor Adams

If you’d prefer to listen to this interview in audio form, you can do so here:

Val
So kicking things off before we actually start with the questions. Congratulations on your twelve years of being a pro wrestler. That’s quite a long career, so congratulations on that.

Taylor Adams
Oh, thank you.

Val
So to start things off. For everyone who is not especially aware of your work and 2AW. Could you tell us about yourself as a wrestler?

Taylor Adams
Yeah, sure. You want me to go back like right to the right to the start of it all?

Val
We’re going to talk a little bit about your beginnings or just make a bit of a summary of everything.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah, man. Yeah. I guess to sum it up. Yeah. I’m Taylor Adams. I am a twenty 27 year old pro wrestler from New Zealand originally and I currently live in Japan, so I’ve been I’ve been to Japan and this is my fifth time and I currently live here. Yeah. On a more long term visa. And yeah, that’s kind of the gist of me. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. From New Zealand now. Living in Japan.

Val
We’re going to put some more into this of you and your making the jump from New Zealand and some of the other places you wrestled from then to Japan. First I’ll let Conrad move on with the next question.

Conrad
Yeah. So I think it’d be cool, if we kind of started out with the basics, like how did you begin wrestling? Was there a specific moment, like when you were younger, where you kind of felt… “Well, I really wanna do this, or was it kind of like a general pipe-dream for you, like, over a much a number of years and you kind of just decided one day to do it?

Taylor Adams
It’s really hard to pinpoint, like the exact moment that I remember the first time I ever saw wrestling. I think I was about six. And we had… We had WCW on TV back in New Zealand. But it was really 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 to like I started watching WWE, all that sort of thing.

Taylor Adams
I do remember specifically. When I realised, like, “wow, this is awesome, I love it” was the Iron Man match on Smackdown between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle.

Val
Oh, definitely a great match. I remember that one.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah. 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 “that’s what I’m going to do”. You know? Yeah. That’s kinda when it all clicked. And pretty much I was hooked from then, so… And the rest is history.

Val
Yeah. That… That Angle and Lesnar match, clearly. I would definitely see why that kind of match would get you, would really get you into it – like, that performance really was something else. Like, I remember watching, like, highlights of that match, not so long ago. It just it still blows my mind to this day. Something quite incredible, still.

Taylor Adams
And as a 10 year old kid, seeing people like, like Brock Lesnar, it’s just. Yeah. Out of this world really.

Val
So then moving on to… So 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, wrestling – I discovered a lot of promotions from from from from Australia and nearby while making some research for this interview, which was quite, quite interesting, by the way. Back to your certain promotions Explosive pro-wrestling, Pro Wrestling Australia, ZERO1 Australia which I didn’t know existed. I was that like an affiliate… An affiliate to Pro Wrestling ZERO1 in Japan, or was this completely foreign to you?

Taylor Adams
Yes. So specifically, 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… They’re no longer called ZERO1 Australia; they now go as Wrestle Rampage. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s the story specifically about that one. And then, a little while later, I went to Australia for MCW, Melbourne City Wrestling in Melbourne and PWA in Sydney.

Val
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?

Taylor Adams
I actually, I didn’t actually go to Mexico. So, Lucha Forever was actually in England.

Val
Oh right, something I missed out on.

Taylor Adams
And Yeah, no. And the AAA was actually… 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”

Val
I would expect a surprise.

Taylor Adams
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think yeah, a few people were surprised when I, when I drop that, when I say “yeah, AAA,” but yeah. That was just a one-off show in Japan.

Val
Well speaking of Japan, well that’s this 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 you– how did everything happen?

Taylor Adams
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.

Taylor Adams
And I was sort of wondering what kind of the next logical step was. And I always wanted to go overseas and, you know, different styles and especially Japan and yeah, one day I just kind of… 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 yeah. And then I just saw it and I could afford it. And I just bought it. So I flew myself out there. And yeah, 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.11 And so soon after I bought the flights, I just kind of 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.’ And yes. So that’s kind of the story of my first trip here. Yeah. I did a few months here for the first trip and then went back to New Zealand and then flew myself out again and then flew myself out to England and then back to Japan a few more times.

Val
And yet it’s literally 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, it just like taking… It’s like taking your own bag and just trying to make a living thing. And it’s quite nice.

Taylor Adams
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 kind of what I did. And yeah. It worked out. Yeah.

Conrad
So that’s quite cool to hear. It’s kind of like a ‘betting on yourself and, kind of, making it work’ kind of situation, which is really cool to see. I’m really glad it did work out.

Like, when you got to Japan. Like, was it… First of all, how was it when you first arrived? 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?

Taylor Adams
I think I adjusted well to it. I always liked, like the culture and stuff over here. Yes. 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 and as well broken English, I feel is a bit of a skill, you know. That’s a broken Japanese here and there, and that’s a broken English and stuff like that. Yeah, I feel like I adapted pretty well and pretty quickly. Yeah. I guess in the past, in the past nearly four years, it’s kind of almost become like a second home. So now I feel quite, 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. So. So. Yeah.

Conrad
So, I should’ve asked, was there anybody in particular when you got to Japan that helped you adjust at all or was it like you set out on your own and integrated/immersed yourself in the culture?

Taylor Adams
Yeah, 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. Yeah. As well there are Kiwis that wrestle over here. I remember the first time I got here. Bad Luck Fale, He kind of took me aside and would take me out and help me out and give me advice and stuff like that. And yeah. And he took me to like say some of the sights and stuff like that. The 2AW guys as well. Yeah, it was always good just having people to talk to and stuff like that, but it is well, the Japanese guys are just lovely. So that was always very helpful to me and stuff like that. So, yeah, made really great friends over here. Which, of course, is very helpful. So. Yeah.

Val
Well, speaking of the Japanese guys, who within the 2AW roster has been the biggest help for you in terms of becoming better of your craft?

Taylor Adams
Ayato Yoshida. Literally has become one of my best friends in the entire world. Yeah, we’re pretty… 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, instantly. Yeah. And as well, he’s incredibly talented as well. So he’s helped me a lot as far as the as far as of the in-ring stuff, you know. Yeah. 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.

Val
Yeah, we could tell with 2WF.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny. We picked up like little bits of broken English and broken Japanese, like from each other. So. Yeah. But he’s… Yeah. 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… He’d be the top one but as well everybody else, I mean everybody else is great. Don’t get me wrong. Yeah.

Val
You know it seems like there’s just a good 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 just re-watching the promotion – 2WF helped a lot in that. With that, we’ll just be watching the shows and everything comes out, like that sense of camaraderie.

Taylor Adams
Yeah, 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. Yeah. It’s good value. It’s always fun to be around him. Yeah. He made that 2WF show just so much fun. I’d love to do a season three. That would be so much fun.

Val
We’re going to go back a bit later on about a potential season three four. Going to go back to that again.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. No problem. Yeah.

Conrad
So next. Did your perspective and approach to wrestling kind of evolve after… 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?

Taylor Adams
Yep, yep. I think the main thing that I’m sure there’s others. I feel like one of the most important things as a wrestler, something 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 fan,s 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. Really? 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 it’s about being versatile and adapting to wherever you are. Yeah. Yeah. I hope that makes sense. I’m kind of rambling on.

Val
Yeah, it does make sense. Especially, like, the part about crowds. Definitely fans, depending on what they’re used to watching. Obviously they… well I say- I say ‘they’ but I mean like all three others, both of us as fans, depending on which we watch… especially live crowds – we just… 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. Just a lot more chants. Yes. Yes. It’s a little different in Japan. And they don’t react to the exact same things.

Taylor Adams
Mm-hmm. Yeah. So something like that at home… I do, yeah. Back home I do a bit more character work like 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 catering to your audience and being versatile with whatever audience you have, I think. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s the main thing I’ve taken away from just wrestling in different places and in front of different crowds, I think. Yeah.

Val
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 kind of 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 it, that Harajuku Heartbreaker character? And when did you decide that it was time to go with this? Pretty much… How was it born?

Taylor Adams
I always like…… Like, 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. And really, I just like 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 kind of 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. Really? Yeah. Yeah. It’s hard to pinpoint an actual moment.

Val
Were there any specific wrestlers that just helped to trigger the idea, wrestlers that you saw when you were younger?

Taylor Adams
That went into my characters specifically?

Val
Ones that may have have inspired the character.

Taylor Adams
Honestly, I didn’t, like, for what I have been doing in 2AW, the Harajuku Heartbreaker; I didn’t really take any influence from wrestlers. I’m sure, 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 just came from. Elements of that. Yeah. Music and TV. I like to take influences from things outside of wrestling. Yeah.

Conrad
So the influences from outside of wrestling, was that, kind of, would you say that could aid you moving forward? Let’s say if you wanted to break into/bring 2AW into the mainstream, people could think “Oh, this guy is kind of….he’s flamboyant, he’s kind of like the rock stars that I listen to. And they will kind of. I’ve seen this kind of flamboyance”

Taylor Adams
Yeah, yeah. You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it some way, you know. Yeah.

Conrad
It resonates with them.

Taylor Adams
Yeah, I think that’s something. But 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. But yeah, I feel like you can draw so much from, like, media and entertainment and stuff like that. Yeah. So that’s kind of what I’ve, I’ve done a lot of other gimmicks actually back in New Zealand, for example. And yeah, it was always taken from… It was always influenced by kinds of people outside of wrestling. Yeah. So 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. So yeah.

Conrad
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? By the way, congratulations on getting your first winning fall at GRAND SLAM in August!

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Thank you. Yeah.

Conrad
And how is the environment, like the crowd interaction? Is it like other, smaller venues? How was the overall experience for you as a wrestler?

Taylor Adams
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. The crowd, I think….. 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. So yeah. But yeah. Korakuen Hall’s just awesome. Really, just great. Yeah.

Val
And most definitely one of the greatest venues in Japan. You know, even when you… when you, like, you go to it for like, the tenth time and it’s still something special to wrestle there.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah. Every time. Yeah. Every time. It’s always a special, special feeling because it’s. Yeah. It’s just so cool really. It’s sort of one of the places, you know, growing up where, you know, you grow up watching wrestling, you see these guys and in these venues and you think ‘Wow 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. Yeah.

Val
All right. Moving on now, I would like to ask you some of your thoughts on 2AW’s own Joshi wrestlers, Ayame Sasamura and Rina Shingaki. Can you give us some words about them? And would you say they have a bright future?

Taylor Adams
Yeah, definitely. I would. I think the second time I came here was when they were two trainees, so they hadn’t debuted yet. So you might know it as like the young boy training or young girl in their case. So I saw first hand kind of 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. Yeah. Two bright futures I think. Both just tough as nails.

Val
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 a 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.

Taylor Adams
Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. As well. I think that, um, because a lot of the companies here, either all men or all women. And I think because we have both. Yeah. 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.

Val
Yeah. Speaking a little bit more on Joshi wrestlers. Do you think, as time goes by, we might see more of them in 2AW?

Taylor Adams
I hope so, yeah. I think I think maybe a lot of girls go to, sort of, 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’ll be great. Yeah.

Val
Yeah, most definitely.

Conrad
Yes, and on the back of the trainee thing, could you talk to us about the current crop of rookies in 2AW? Because I hold the opinion that they’re the most promising crop of talent out of all the- 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?

Taylor Adams
I’ve only had the chance at the moment of the four of the youngest 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… 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. 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.

Val
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 do good showing fire, you know.

Taylor Adams
And 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. Yeah. Yeah.

Val
It truly should be a very interesting thing to look at, to look forward. So next up we’re going to have to move on to the second part of this interview. So pretty much based on 2WF. So, starting off. 2WF for those who do not know what what this is. It’s a bi-weekly Instagram/YouTube exclusive wrestling product. It seems some of the 2AW younger talents wrestle matches against an opponent that the idea that nobody knows. They’re mystery opponents. The first season, I believe was late June and a bit of July, I believe. That’s when it was, essentially 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 came out from you and Ayato [Yoshida] or was it suggested by the company or how did it become a thing, essentially?

Taylor Adams
So it was I think it was just originally an idea from the office and 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 of fans. We had a few that were filmed for TV. Yeah. For Samurai TV fans. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. So it was a way of getting content out. Yeah. And as well, keeping people fresh. Keeping the ring rust out as well for the younger guys. So 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. Yeah. And then we came back for season two because it seemed like it was people enjoyed it. So yeah. And we offered…. So there was a Japanese announce table on YouTube that was broadcast live. And yeah, me and Ayato did English announcing on Instagram live. And all of those matches are still on the 2AW Instagram page, so. And yeah, we’d do it twice a week for a set number of weeks each season. So yeah, if you want to, 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.

Val
Definitely check that out. I can only recommend – I was following a lot of season one during the lockdown, which for me was kind of the bright moments that you have at this time. So it was just something really fun to watch, bringing you a bit of a different presentation than we’re used to. Also as fans of Japanese wrestling, it was really something really fun, too, to witness. And obviously, you and Ayato as broadcasters was really fun as well. And you were close to the people on Instagram, so globally it was great.

Taylor Adams
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. Yes, it was… It was great. It was really, really fun. So, yeah, very hopeful. We can do it again.

Conrad
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?

Taylor Adams
I hope so. I think 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 do 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. So, yeah, I think it would be a good idea. That’s not entirely my decision, but I am hopeful that we can know that we can do some more in the future. Yeah.

Val
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. So it’s like some of the- sort of mainstays from 2AW, experienced guys going there and just giving the younger talents. Well, pretty much, practice and premature little practise and lessons like that. So it can only be a great experience for them.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. And yeah, it was always sort of the top goal. You know, a few bruises and things. Yeah. 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. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Val
Now we’re going to talk about your 2WF broadcast partner Just Reebok a.k.a. Ayato Yoshida. So obviously outside of his announcing duties. He’s the current 2AW Openweight Champion. Do you have at all 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?

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like that’s everybody’s kind of, you know, everybody’s kind of hoping for. Yeah I, I feel like I still have a little a little while to go. But, yeah, I feel like I’m improving all the time. Yeah, I said I say that confidently, but also humbly. I know 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 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. Yeah.

Val
Like, I cannot wait to see that match whenever it happens, like that big main event featuring Taylor Adams should definitely be a match most people should check out.

Taylor Adams
Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. Yeah, that’s funny. I’m naturally quite a nervous person. Like, I’m not the most confident person. Yeah. So.

Val
I would say you deserve the praise so you can take it, really.

Taylor Adams
Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah. So yeah, I’ll do my best, really. That’s all you can do. And hopefully, one day that will be me.

Conrad
Off 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?

Taylor Adams
Specifically here, or other places in the world?

Conrad
Any, really

Taylor Adams
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. Actually, the Electric Ballroom.

Conrad
Down in London.

Taylor Adams
Yeah, down in Camden. Yeah, yeah, I helped out at a show there doing the ring and all sorts, but yeah, 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, which they go… 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. Yeah. Working at the stadium down there. Yeah. So obviously, the top one, it’s the Tokyo Dome, other than that Electric Ballroom would be really cool. And yeah. Back home in New Zealand and the stadium.

Val
We’re going to wish you to be able to wrestle on all these great venues, obviously. If you can get there it would be a great thing for you.

Next up, we’re going to talk about something which is, well, not so pleasing, which is the recent calf injury that you had. The question I have, it’s slightly related to that injury, like,e during the time that you’ve been recovering. I think your last match was in August if I recall correctly. So it’s been around two months. During that recovery time, was there anything that changed about your views on wrestling or anything along those lines? Is there anything that has changed, or is there anything you’re going to adapt based off that

Taylor Adams
It’s funny. Before you knew you were talking to me about my gimmick and stuff, and I actually went and got… I’m kind of giving myself a bit of a makeover for when I come back. Yes. My costume’s gonna be different. But 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.

So I would like to channel a little bit more seriousness into my matches. Yeah. As well. It’s just been a frustrating time, especially after the break. Yeah. 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. And then this happened. And yeah, it was heartbreaking. And yes, I’ve been very careful on it. I’ve been doing my sort of 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 little bit of a different spin on my look and stuff. So. Yeah. Yeah. Stay tuned for Wednesday.

Val
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 what the last part of this interview – the ‘fun quickies’ We’ve got from five little questions to ask you, So Conrad, do you want to start with the quickies?

Conrad
OK. So going back to 2AW – those who do drink. Who would you say drinks the most?

Taylor Adams
Oh. Out of 2AW?

Val
Yeah.

Taylor Adams
Just 2AW. Yeah. Kaji Tomato. Definitely. Or Tatsuya Hanami.

Val
I wasn’t surprised by Kaji, but Hanami surprises me

Taylor Adams
Most of the time, it’s kind of forced down him but yeah, he takes it like a champ. So yeah, probably one of those two, I think yeah. Yeah.

Val
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.

Taylor Adams
Everywhere in the world. Hiroshi Tanahashi, John Cena.

Val
Two great shouts.

Taylor Adams
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.

Val
All great, great wrestlers, obviously great, great characters as well. Definitely nice picks. Like, I would be curious to see Taylor Adams vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, definitely

Taylor Adams
Hmm. I think that would be number one. Yeah. Yeah.

Conrad
Two different types of flamboyance coming together. Like, a lot of charisma in that match, I think.

Taylor Adams
I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you.

Conrad
So moving on to a general one that I’m sure everybody – both wrestlers and kind of in wrestling fandom is kind of asked at one point or another. What is your all-time favourite match?

Taylor Adams
That I’ve watched, or been in?

Val
Watched.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. I would say…. Kenta Kobashi vs Kensuke Sasaki from the Tokyo Dome. Yeah.

Val
That’s one of my favourites as well.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah. Great match. Yeah, I love it. Chop festival. Yeah. Yeah. There’s just. There’s just so many. But yeah. If I had to pick one right off the top of my head right now. That would be… That would be it.

Val
Definitely a great pick! I’ll say this, you have great taste.

Taylor Adams
Oh, thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Val
Yeah. Speaking of matches, we’re going to move on, which about talking about matches which you took part in. With all the matches which you took part in, which is the match which you would say you’re the most proud of to this day? Or more generally, the one which really stands out to you?

Taylor Adams
It’s back in New Zealand, actually, against – I’m sure you’ve heard of him – TK Cooper.

Val
I’ve seen who he is. Yes

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah. So 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.” Yeah. And I’ve never watched it back. I don’t think I ever will. And 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 and. Yeah. And then there’s a bunch of others. But that one stands out to me. Yeah.

Conrad [00:56:02] That’s a good pick and I’m going to hunt it down if I can now that you mentioned it, as normal. Yeah. And as Val 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.

Taylor Adams
And thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Conrad
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?

Taylor Adams
Just anything like wrestling specifically? Or…?

Val
A story related to wrestling.

Taylor Adams
I think obviously the first time in Korakuen was a big deal for me. And 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 as well it was, yeah, it was still just quite surreal. Yeah. I always have the memory of my first day landing in Japan and didn’t know 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. And yeah, it was and I’m kind of like with tall white guy sticking out, looking around with my suitcases and things like that. Yeah. 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, yeah, worked out well. But that’s just it for me, one of my funny little memories that I always hang on to.

Val
Surely the first time, the first time in a country like this, obviously being a big city as well. Obviously, it’s say it’s always kind of an experience. Yeah. Overwhelming kind of thing.

Taylor Adams
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Well, small-town lad. But yeah, like I said, it worked out well. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well yeah. Yes.

Well as well actually, just to finish is some 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 most delicious thing ever if you’re ever here. Make sure you hunt out some some raw horse, it’s amazing.

Val
I’ll 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 actually follow you on social media and follow 2AW as well?

Taylor Adams
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 yeah, if you want to give me a like on Facebook, that’d be cool too. And as well 2AW is 2AWOffice on Instagram and Twitter and on YouTube as well. Yeah.

Val
All right. Conrad, where can people find you on social media as well?

Conrad
So yeah. First, before I go into that – Taylor, thank you again for kind of joining us and thank you for your work in 2WF. Lockdown for myself and a lot of others was difficult, and that kind of really brightened my midweek and the end of my week. So I want to thank you for that as well.

Taylor Adams
I’m glad to hear it. So, yeah, it makes me very, very happy to hear. And, you know, thanks to you guys for having me on.

Conrad
Yeah, of course. My social media… I’m on Twitter, and on Instagram; you can follow Chops, Kicks and Nearfalls on Twitter @CKNearfalls, chopskicksandnearfalls.com.

Val
Well, as well as for me on social media, you can find me at on Twitter at MadGeniusVal. And on that note, that’s where we are actually closing this interview. Well, for the last time. Thank you Taylor for joining us; Thank you Conrad for being there with me. And we’re going to say goodbye and tell you on and beyond to the next one. So good bye, everyone.

Taylor Adams
All right. Cool. Thanks, guys. See you again. Thank you very much.

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