Tama Tonga reveals who taught him how to shoot fight in the ring.
"The Bad Boy" turned "Good Guy" Tama Tonga is taking a brief break before getting back on the road with New Japan Pro Wrestling for the 'New Beginning' tour in a few weeks. Tama has made it clear that he has turned over a new leaf and that leaf was officially turned at Wrestle Kingdom 13 and continued through New Year's Dash despite losing the IWGP Tag Team Championships at Wrestle Kingdom.
Following Wrestle Kingdom and New Year's Dash, Tama was interviewed by 'Cultaholic' in Japan and the two parties talked about a variety of topics including different wrestling styles and particularly Tama's style of wrestling. The conversation then turned over to learning from different wrestlers and Tama talked about his time in the New Japan dojo and mentioned how he learned to shoot fight in the ring from Yuji Nagata, Minoru Suzuki and Shinsuke Nakamura and even learned a bit from former 3-time IWGP Tag Team Champion Toru Yano.
“He’s [Yano] a shoot fighter. I had told him, on our walk over here I had told him, there was guys that taught me shoot fighting. One was [Yuji] Nagata, Shinsuke Nakamura and [Minoru] Suzuki, but Yano was actually another guy.... I may not have gotten in the ring with him and learned some stuff, but I would watch him teach other guys, and that is the same effect as getting in the ring with somebody -- well, a little bit more.” Tama shared.
To see the lineups for a few of the 'New Beginning' shows which include an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match, head over to Fightful's published article on the topic.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit 'Cultaholic' with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.