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Tama Tonga discusses The Bullet Club, Good Brothers in NJPW, EVIL & more [Exclusive]

We caught up with Tama Tonga
We caught up with Tama Tonga

It's been a long few months out of the ring for NJPW's Tama Tonga - but, as he told us just days before the announcement of NJPW STRONG, he cannot wait to get back in the ring! That being said, Tonga has kept himself very busy by starting up his own podcast, the immensely entertaining Tama's Island - where Tama Tonga explores his own career, alongside Ross Berman.

Sportskeeda meets Tama Tonga

While stranded on Tama's Island, though, the rest of the rest of the world hasn't stopped turning on its own axis around Bullet Club OG Tama Tonga, so we asked one half of the Guerrillas of Destiny all about the current happenings in NJPW, about the Good Brothers making moves, EVIL's dominance, comparisons with Roman Reigns and - of course - just who is the leader of the Bullet Club!

You can check out the entire video interview below, or read on for more.

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So, Tama Tonga, the world right now is a little bit of a mess. We can see what's behind you, I know I've been busy starting your own podcast, Tama's Island, but what's your current situation? Let's start with, what continent are you on and how are you doing in this pandemic?

Yes. Tama's Island podcast started because of this pandemic. I am here, residing in the United States... East Coast! ..down in Florida. I've had a lot of time on my hands, Gary, a lot of time. You know, no international travel right now so I'm trying to fill in my free space here, trying to stay busy, trying to keep my mind focused on our product and it's been going very well, man.


Excellent. That's the one thing. I love it when my life is made easy and I can be really lazy. We really don't need to go through any of your career because Tama's Island starts at the very start and covers everything.

I always like to give people a hook. I know that you don't need a hook to listen to something that has Tama Tonga hosting it anyway but, for me, the very first episode. I was hooked. You had Karl Anderson as the guest but the one story that I love that people need to go and check out is Tama Tonga and the Bullet Club t-shirts. The counterfeit Bullet Club t-shirts that you were selling. That is one of my favourite wrestling stories of all time. Absolutely love it. How have you found the podcasting thing? I think you're nine or ten episodes deep now. Are you enjoying it? Is it a nice escape?

It's nice, man. It's very nice because I have Ross Berman there co-hosting and he's able to come up with questions that a lot of the fans have questions about. Like, fill in the blanks and gaps between timelines. Not only my timeline but the Bullet Club timeline, I'm able to answer a lot of questions that the fans are interested in knowing and some I just never thought... Even some that I'd never thought about, you know, so it's been fun. That's what I'm looking for - it's fun and if it's not fun, I'm not doing it, man. But it's been a lot of fun. It's been a lot of fun.


Next: Tama Tonga discusses The Good Brothers

Sportskeeda meets Tama Tonga

Our interview with NJPW Tama Tonga continues below.

Tama Tonga opened up to us about all things NJPW
Tama Tonga opened up to us about all things NJPW

We mentioned Karl Anderson. I interviewed The Good Brothers a couple of days ago and they mentioned returning to Japan. We know why you can't get to Japan right now, but Tama Tonga and The Good Brothers have a long history. Are you just all going to be back together and working as one big happy family?

Oh, of course, man! Of course! See, now, I said it before and I'll say it again, man. I feel like this has all been planned. I had this planned out with Karl Anderson 5 years ago, man. It was supposed to be only 3 years but it kind of extended to five years - but that's family, man. Once you're Bullet Club, you're Bullet Club for life. Especially the Originals, man, and so I'm looking forward to having them Brothers come out to Japan and we can rock and roll again.


I need to ask, what do you think of the stuff they've been doing? You know, they left WWE 90 days ago with their last appearance in a match with The Undertaker. They leave 90 days later, join IMPACT Wrestling, get the eyes of the world on IMPACT, do their own Talk N' Shop A Mania stuff, what does Tama Tonga think about what they're are doing right now?

I freakin' love it, man. I love it. This is the real deal Holyfield that they're doing. I love it that they are able to come off such a platform and still rock and roll, and still keep moving forward and upward. A lot of guys aren't able to do those kind of moves when they leave a platform such as WWE.

But these guys, man, I'm telling you - Gallows taught us well, how to hustle. He taught us real well. That's where the whole bootlegging comes from, with Gallows. So I know that those boys will do very well, and being with IMPACT has been a nice splash on media for them. So I'm really happy about that man. I'm actually talking to them right now and the first text I get from Gallows is, "Hey, man. Sorry I missed you the other day. When is New Japan opening up again? Do you know?"

I said, "Soon, man, soon. Come on, man, let me get there first before you, man. Come on!"

Soon! But not soon enough. Definitely not soon enough.


Next: Tama Tonga discusses comparisons with Roman Reigns

Sportskeeda meets Tama Tonga

Our interview with NJPW Tama Tonga continues below.

Tama Tonga discussed if NJPW may work with IMPACT
Tama Tonga discussed if NJPW may work with IMPACT

That's another thing that came up that we need to move on to. They said to me, "We want a working relationship between IMPACT and New Japan." I knew I was interviewing Tama Tonga, so I can now get a little bit of input from both sides since those guys have their fingers in all the pies! I know a lot of people would remember stuff that's happened in the past but what are your thoughts on any potential working relationship? We know IMPACT has new management that is familiar with New Japan. What would your thoughts on something like that happening?

I think it would be great! I think it would be great to get... Let's bring our product out here to the States. It would be great to have a platform to share that. We used to be on AXS, we used to have a regular thing here, but I think with the situation, the world situation, and things kind of taking a turn, I think it would be a good relationship for both. Having the Good Brothers there, someone we trust that worked with us before, that understands New Japan, the ins and outs, could really facilitate things like these and I think it would be great altogether. I would love that.


So, obviously, we're going to get into New Japan but I've got one question beforehand. I never really knew how I felt about this comparison but people used to alway compared Tama Tonga and Roman Reigns. What was that comparison like for you? What do you think of being compared to Roman Reigns?

All positive for me. To me, it's nothing. If the fans think so, OK, great. He's up there a level with exposure and all it does it is put me out there with him. So that's all positive. It's all good. Love it. I have no negativity with it. And we had a lot of spat, back and forth but he knows now I ain't one to back down. But it's all good, we have that understanding.

That's a match I would love to see, but we know that if anything ever came of it, you've got the military background which is why I believe you're wear the military attire. You've got the upper hand there, definitely you can say that.

Oh, definitely!


Next: Tama Tonga discusses EVIL

Sportskeeda meets Tama Tonga

Our interview with NJPW Tama Tonga continues below.

Tama Tonga opened up about EVIL!
Tama Tonga opened up about EVIL!

So, obviously not right now for very apparent reasons - but you are working in Japan if we look at things from the outside of the coronavirus pandemic. Tama Tonga is currently, I believe, contracted the NJPW. You are one of the OGs of the Bullet Club.

That said, there has been a few things going on with the Bullet Club recently so of course I need to ask you about that because, well, who better to ask?

OK.

A man who recently seems to have joined, someone you actually have defeated earlier this year in a Tag Team Championship match - EVIL.... Was that this year? That was last year!

That was last year.

Time is flying. A year and a half ago! I was thinking that was as recently as this year.

We were feuding for a while! EVIL and Sanada. We were feuding for a while! We've had our eye on EVIL probably since the beginning of this year and you've got to make moves man. Bullet Club has got to make moves for the future.


So, EVIL. For me, the New Japan Cup tournament had been building and building and building. The more it goes in, you go, "I have a feeling that EVIL is going to be the dark horse," so to speak. That turn, the gesture turning in from the too sweet was the greatest thing ever. I need to ask, what were Tama Tonga's thoughts on that moment and how perfectly that was executed?

Oh! I was sitting up, waiting for that moment. I loved it! I LOVED it! That's the stuff that we, Bullet Club, we're known for bringing in guys, especially bringing in controversial guys and he was definitely making that moment controversial.

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I've got to say, it splashed all over social media, all over media, so I loved it. Me and EVIL came up together in the system, man, so I know there's a lot there that that can happen with EVIL. He has a lot of talent, unexplored talent, right now so I think Bullet Club is going to be the one that's going to push him straight to the top, man, for sure.


Next: Tama Tonga discusses the King of Pro-Wrestling Championship

Sportskeeda meets Tama Tonga

Our interview with NJPW Tama Tonga continues below.

Tama Tonga will be back in the ring very shortly!
Tama Tonga will be back in the ring very shortly!

So, the Bullet Club, of course, are one of the most dominant factions in the history of wrestling, but I think you would forgive me for saying no stranger to power struggles. A lot of different leaders over the years and a lot of people vying for that leadership. There's EVIL here, you've got yourself - Tama Tonga, one of the OGs, one of the few OGs left - and of course there's Jay White as well. Who is the current leader of the Bullet Club?

I said I'd say we all are. I'd say we're working as a team. It's a democracy right now. It's a democracy. We axed out one leader. We always had the reputation of one leader goes out, another one comes in but lately we've... There's never been a time in Bullet Club like right now where, shoot, you've got a guy with two straps, the top two straps in New Japan. How is he not the leader? How is he not...?

But he is our frontman right now. I've got to say we got frontmen. I think that's a better term instead of saying, "Leader". We have frontmen that spearhead the movement right now, so... Who's to say that Fale isn't the leader? I look at him as the leader. How do you know I'm not the leader? I've been in there since day one.

So, Jay White, the man, was the frontman now. He couldn't, you know, right now be in Japan because of the whole situation so we made moves to get us a man to put us in the front, right?

You needed someone to step up! I guess you've got plenty of soldiers on the frontline would be a nice way to put it.


So, I've got one last question for you. The way the situation is right now, I'm guessing Tama Tonga is itching to get back in the wrestling ring. Obviously you've got Tama's Island keeping you busy but when you get back in the ring, I guess you're going to be itching to get back in the ring with someone and they're gonna get a whole lot of brutality coming away. Who's the one person Tama Tonga wants to get back in the ring with?

I don't have a person. I do have a goal. I see that Okada put out a new title. King of Pro-Wrestling title. That serves my interests a lot. I think, "Man, to be the King of Pro-Wrestling. That's a different one." Something new, something I can definitely put my attention and focus to. That's... It's new. 2020, it's a whole new deal going on, man. I think we have a lot of opportunity here, so I wouldn't say a person, I would say a title, and that King of Pro-Wrestling Title looks mighty... Mighty scrumptious.

Ha-ha-ha, scrumptious!

I love that word for it. That's the best word I've heard to determine a title. I think they should rename it to the Scrumptious Title!

The Scrumptious Title!


Thank you so much to Tama Tonga for taking the time to chat with myself. You can follow Tama Tonga here, and the Tama's Island podcast here.

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Edited by Greg Bush
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