2020. A year that everyone will look back on in 20+ years and think “bloody hell, wasn’t that year crazy?”
Personally, last year was a rollercoaster of emotions. I was supposed to be in Japan for 4 months to debut and then head back to LA to train with Shibata-San, but instead I have been here for 1 year.
1 year in Japan.
I haven’t seen my family or friends for a year. I haven’t seen the LA Dojo boys for almost a year.
I’ve lost contact with family members, along with some close friends. I’ve lost contact with some people who were really special to me. I’ve had family members who caught COVID-19 and I haven’t been able to see them.
But for all the things I haven’t been able to do this year, I still see this year as a year of growth for me.
I’ve been in Japan for one year. I’ve got to experience a completely new and different culture. I’ve put myself in uncomfortable situations and grown from them. I’ve constantly been around the best professional wrestlers on the planet. I’ve fought some of the best professional wrestlers on the planet. I’ve been taken aside and been given advice from some of the best professional wrestlers on the planet.
I recently watched myself vs Taguchi-San from February 4th at Korakuen Hall. I look, move and feel like a completely different person now.
No I didn’t get to go home in May. No I haven’t seen my family or friends.
But I know I have grown so much in the past 12 months as a professional wrestler.
I understand that these are the sacrifices we make as professional wrestlers. Because as much as I’d love to go home and see my family, there is no better feeling than being on that blue NJPW canvas.
I cannot put in to words the emotions you experience whilst in the ring, it is simply something you only understand if you experience it.
The hard work will continue on into 2021, and I look forward to it.