TJP feels that he is best suited as a versatile mid-card type of star.
The winner of the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic TJP made sporadic appearances for WWE throughout his career but officially became a part of the company in 2016. TJP has become Cruiserweight Champion and worked RAW, NXT and was spotlighted on 205 Live before his release from WWE. Superstars in all walks of professional wrestling want to climb up the ranks and become a top star in their respective companies and/or promotions. TJP on the other hand is content with being the utility guy who can be relied on.
That conversation began when TJP replied to the question of if he was excited about the idea of KUSHIDA joining WWE. TJP added that new talents coming in may put fear in others but he sees those instances as a chance to continue being himself and stated that he's never been the "chosen one" and does not know if he'd ever enjoy a position as such.
“Yeah, very" [excited about the idea of KUSHIDA in WWE], TJP said on the 'Wrassle Rap' podcast. "My opinion is the more the merrier you know? For me selfishly, it’s really similar to a lot of the things I can do. So I think that’s… where as some people may be threatened by that sort of thing, I think that’s great because that gives me an opportunity to be me more.” He continued, “I wish that analogy transferred over to wrestling because I’ve never been a darling of any kind. I’ve never been a chosen one. I don’t know if I would enjoy it if I was to be honest. It’s not the way I’ve been wired. I always been, sort of a utility guy and maybe that’s a compliment to versatility and flexibility but along with that comes people writing narratives for you. I don’t like having narratives about me anymore. You get tired of it. Thankfully, WWE wanted to tell my story. They’re the first place that ever wanted me to be me. Prior to this, I had places [that were like], ‘You gotta pretend to be Mexican because you look like that and we don’t know what a Filipino is’ and ‘Do you speak Spanish? Because if you don’t speak Spanish, you won’t have a job here’ and, ‘We’re gonna put a mask on you. You’re gonna pretend to be Japanese’ and it’s like, man, I’m not anything of these things." He expressed. "I have nothing against it. I’ve been to all these places. I’m probably more Japanese than the guys you want pretending to be but, I’m not that. I’m me.”
Fightful has a video news update posted on our YouTube channel about WWE wanting to sign KUSHIDA and that was reported one month before KUSHIDA's contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling expired in January.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit the 'Wrassle Rap' podcast with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.