The former Justin Gabriel, now known as PJ Black, spoke to Pro Wrestling Sheet as they discuss the ROH wrestler teaching himself how to walk again, being five years away from his prime at the age of 38, and wrestling for two different companies at Madison Square Garden.
The current state of the South African indie scene:
"There’s some wrestling back home right now. Nothing big. There’s a couple of guys who have done a couple of big shows in the last few years. Like one or two big shows a year and that’s it. Maybe 10 shows in total a year. I’m actually trying to set something up right now because I feel like wrestling in South Africa is big. I get kids on Instagram and Facebook asking me daily ‘where can I train? Where can I go?,’ So I wanna open a couple of wrestling schools in South Africa in the big cities and maybe we can grow it back into what it was. Especially now, because wrestling’s booming worldwide."
On not yet reaching his prime:
“I feel great. I’m almost 40. A kid came up to me the other day and said ‘So your career’s coming to an end. Who do want your last match to be against?,” And I’m like ‘I think I’m five years away from my prime, kid.’ And I do. I feel better now than I’ve ever felt in my life.”
On having more creative freedom in ROH:
“That was the thing for me. Schedule-wise and creative freedom. Wrestling is an art. I love WWE and I’m not knocking anyone there but you’re kind of handcuffed in a way. Obviously depending on who you are and how high up on the card you are you have a little bit of freedom, but you can always be told what to do by a suit. And that’s fine for some people and you make a lot of money and if you have a family, that’s the thing you should do. But if you’re a true artist you wanna just do your thing.”
A reminder that Black will appear at Rajah Live during Double or Nothing weekend, reuniting with Nexus member Michael Tarver.