I know these two guys are buy at this time. From what I am aware they are both currently traveling in the states and are aiming for a huge Proving Ground match for Ring of Honor on March 30. I personally want to thank them both for taking the time to answer the few questions I sent their way. So let’s get into it.
1. You both got invited to be in NOAH following the October 2010 WLW/NOAH training camp, Pro Wrestling NOAH. How much are you both familiar with the Japanese style of pro wrestling (Any favorite wrestlers/matches)?
Shane: Ive been following NOAH for awhile now. Once I first saw my first KENTA match I was pretty hooked. I had watch other matches here and there but because the commentary was all in Japanese I never really picked up names. So yeah, it was a dream of mine to wrestle for NOAH and wrestle Kenta, which I can now very gladly say Ive done now.
Mikey: Im quite familiar with it, when I started out it was somewhat the glory days of tape trading and so a lot of Japanese tapes were traded around and so I got the chance to see quite a lot of it. I also got to experience first hand when I was training at the NJPW dojo in Los Angeles back in 2005. My lists of favourite matches and wrestlers in constantly changing, but I guess the first Japanese wrestler I remember calling my favourite was Keiji Mutoh/Great Muta.
2. I know you guys come from EPW (Explosive Pro Wrestling) out of Australia, but how different are things between your home promotion and NOAH?
Shane: I guess to me its just the level each are at. NOAH is a big company with plenty of people doing different jobs where as EPW is smaller and more like a family business with fewer people having to do alot of things. EPW is home and everyone there feels like family and you’re generally close with everyone. NOAH is much larger. A lot more full on with more shows, traveling and tv but getting to do all that with the wrestlers and crew they have there, helps you bond with them pretty well too. I don’t know if that makes any sense but I really love working for both companies and people and friends you make are great.
Mikey: I agree with Shane about it being more about the Levels they are at. I have been with EPW since day 1 and so it has become more like a small family business whereas NOAH is a bigger company and so therefore has more people involved and is just a much bigger product.
3. How was it like training in Dojo? I seen a few pics of you guys working out with Noamichi Marufuj.
Shane: Training was great there. Very demanding, especially by the end of the week or tour. But it’s also very rewarding. Group trainings were a lot of fun too. There was a consistent bunch of us doing those and then you’d get guys like Marufuji, Kotaro or even Kobashi dropping in to do their own thing too. Always had a fun atmosphere and the guys were always willing to help work on things with you and teach you the style.
Mikey: Training in the dojo is amazing. We live and train at the dojo and so it is like being surrounded by wrestling 24/7. Just being around wrestling and around the types of talent that is around training you cant help but get brought up to another level.
4. You both made your debut’s in NOAH on Feb. 23, 2011 and have been in the normal ringer of things for most of the year. In the last few months you both started standing out as a tag team and even got a GHC Jr. Heavyweight match on Dec. 15th. Thoughts on the year and heading into and following the match?
Shane: I think we were just happy to be there no matter what we were doing. Very happy to be filling in were we could and doing the best we could with each match. Near the end of the last tour the office came to us and told us about the title match which was definitely a surprise to us. We knew it meant a lot that they gave us a title shot so soon, considering the short amount of time we had been there. Also, we knew we had to actually watch our weight for once so leading up to the match we were doing a lot more endurance and cardio training. The match went really, although no one expected us to win.
Mikey: We both looked at it as such a huge opportunity, just to be wrestling and working regularly with NOAH and so every single chance we had to go out and wrestle was a blessing and I think we tried as hard as we could to make the most of every single one of those chances. Like Shane said it was a bit of a surprise when the office told us about the match but at the same time gave us a chance to really show what we could do and reward their faith in us.
5. I know there was a bit of controversy for you Haste, as they had to test that you actually was a Junior Heavyweight wrestler. You barely made the weight, but honestly you both clearly look like Heavyweights so are you guys looking to compete as Juniors or move on Heavyweights now?
Shane: What we aim to do is stay around the 100kgs weight and bounce between heavy and junior. This way there will hopefully be more opportunities for us and also we want to accomplish as much as we possibly can. I’m sure as we get older though it will become harder to keep the weight down and I’ll have to start adjusting my style more to suit heavyweight.
Mikey: It was the first time I had to actually try to drop weight for a match, but we both got down to less than 100kgs and is good to know that it is possible if we ever have to do it again in the future. I think the way that we are going now we are kind of heading in more a heavyweight direction. If nothing else it will give us a chance to work with a whole new group of guys.
6. Has there been a certain wrestler(s) who you both have enjoyed working with in Japan?
Shane: Everyone there was great to work with. Even guys where you were thinking maybe not, they would surprise you and things would just work awesomely. Trying not to play favourites but I loved wrestling guys like Aoki, Kanemaru, Ricky, Miyahara Kento, Sugiura……Haha. I could go on but they’re the guys I remember having alot of fun with.
Mikey: Man that’s a hard question. I think I had my absolute best matches with Aoki and Ishimori it just seemed we really clicked and I think had some really competitive and also fun matches.
7. What would you guys say was the best moment that has happened to you guys while touring with NOAH (Inside or outside the ring)?
Shane: There’s been a lot of great moments, the whole experience is the best that I’ve had in my life. From all the fun of traveling on the road, to even just staying at the dojo and training everyday. The best moment for me definitely was the Jnr. tag title match. Not just the match but the whole lead up to it. It changed the way the guys looked at us and gave us great exposure. It was also great to really let loose out there.
Mikey: Just being apart of the whole thing, the touring, the training, the shows, everything has been so amazing. If I had to pin point one moment it would have to be just before the title match started, during the announcements, I looked around, realized where I was and what I was doing and it just blew my mind.
8. Any idea for when we could see you guys back in the NOAH ring?
Shane: Hopefully soon. And hopefully not just this year but for many more years to come
Mikey: I wholeheartedly agree with Shane..!!
To follow the happenings of Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls, be sure to join the TMDK facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/TMDK/182667231781555
Also support them as they compete in the upcoming Ring of Honor iPPV on March 30 in a proving ground match against whichever team are the current ROH Tag Team Champions.
You can get all the info on the upcoming event by checking the link below.