Danny Limelight has been one of the highlights among the new faces of NJPW’s shows in the United States, but his journey to NJPW is a unique one to say the least.
Limelight recently spoke with Fightful about wrestling on NJPW, his debut and what led to his debut earlier this year against TJP on NJPW Lion’s Break Collision. Limelight revealed that it was Rocky Romero who was instrumental in bringing him, starting with a tryout match that he did last year with NJPW. Both Romero and Limelight struck up a friendship and 2019 was when things started to really fall in place for Limelight.
Limelight made his IMPACT debut in 2019 and although nothing came from that match, he garnered attention from the wrestling community, leading to that tryout match with NJPW.
“I met Rocky Romero at Championship Wrestling From Wrestling. He had just won the PP3 Cup and I met him there. He’s become a mentor to me, someone that I could hit up with, we’ve had similar styles, look and things in that nature and we maintained a working relationship and friendship. This last summer, I made my IMPACT debut in a five-way scramble with Ace Austin, Jake Crist, Trey Miguel and Adrian Quest. After that, I started to get those, ‘Who’s going to sign Danny Limelight?’ tweets. I think I had a really good showing there. I got a buzz there and I don’t want to say that’ where it came from, but I started getting my real groove and started to find myself and who I want to be in the wrestling business as a character and a person. That’s when Rocky came in and contacted me for a New Japan tryout this past fall. I came to the tryout. I teamed with Misterioso and we took on the Riegel twins. We had a pretty decent match. It was our first time in the ring together. It was a tryout match and we showed what we can do. Rocky came in and told me what he liked, what he didn’t like, what he thought I needed to improve upon, gave me good critique and that I’ll be hearing from them,” Limelight said.
However, the injury bug hit Limelight as he separated his shoulder shortly after that tryout match, but through a strange set of circumstances, he was able to recover very quickly and come back wrestling weeks later. Once the pandemic hit, Limelight was able to take time to rest up his body and in May, he got the call from Romero to prepare for his NJPW debut.
“I separated my shoulder a month after the tryout and they told me that I was going to be out for six months unless I got surgery. I did not want to wait that long, nor did I want to get surgery. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I got into a car accident a week after I separated my shoulder. I basically banged my shoulder into the side of the car really hard and it set my shoulder back in. I still have the weird lump but it gave me range of motion. So, like after two weeks after I separated it, I started lifting weights, putting some weight on it, making sure I can move it and have range of motion there. One month after separating my shoulder, I was wrestling a match… I started rocking and rolling, then the pandemic hit and then I got the call saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to bring you in, but with this pandemic, we’re taking precautions.’ It was a couple of weeks before June because the first tapings were on June 6, so I would say end of May is when I was told to get a COVID-19 test and to self quarantine. I came and did all the stuff they told me to do. I tested negative and I showed up, they had everything set up with social distancing. The ring was cleaned in between matches. They took real good care of us and I wrestled my debut match against TJP,” Limelight said.
Limelight will face Romero on the September 11 episode of NJPW Strong which is the second night of Fighting Spirit Unleashed. NJPW Strong airs every Friday night on NJPW World at 10 p.m. ET.
You can check out the full interview at the top of the page. If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Carlos Toro of Fightful.