I recently had the amazing opportunity to interview Dylan James about his career in Pro Wrestling. We talk All Japan, a little Zero1 and his adventure to Taiwan and Macau. You can follow him on twitter @DJATHLETE91
CT: Let’s start with you telling a little bit about yourself. How old are you? Where were you born? And did you watch wrestling as a child? If so, who was your favourite wrestler?
DJ: My name is Dylan James. I am 26 years old born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I first started watching wrestling as a kid, probably around the age of five as my older brother was a big fan so I started watching with him. My favorite wrestler at that time was Kane, but then later changed to HHH.
CT: How did you get your start in wrestling? Who trained you and what promotions did you first step foot in?
DJ: My brother started wrestling before me in New Zealand, I wrestled in junior high school through high school till I finally dropped out of school and took up Pro Wrestling training, as I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. My brother trained me for a little while maybe 3 months or so where I had a few matches in the local promotion that he was wrestling for at the time. I knew that if I wanted any chance of becoming a real Pro Wrestler and not one who does it as a hobby every weekend, that I’d need to leave New Zealand and get trained by someone who knows what they’re doing, and who has had great success in the business. Me and my brother left New Zealand to go to the Team 3D Academy in Orlando, FL, where I learned everything from Bubba, Dvon and Apache Dann Carr, which has given me the opportunity to be where I am today.
CT: How did you end up in Japan? Who first brought you over and for which promotion?
DJ: So as I was training at the team 3D academy, one of the woman wrestlers Jaime D who was training at the academy also had just returned from a short tour here. I was interested about everything, so I asked her if there’s any way I can get to japan, she told me to send a message to (Yoshiyuki) Nakamura-san the boss of Zero1. From there he got back to me and gave me the opportunity to live and train at the Zero1 dojo.
CT: How did you find working in Macau and Taiwan?
DJ: Macau and Taiwan was a blast! I was living in Macau for about two months with 4 guys whom i consider brothers. Bitman from Hong Kong, Buffa from USA(both of which i had lived together with in Japan) Heisenberg from Taiwan and HoHo Lun from Hong Kong and we got paid to party and wrestle everyday, there were a bunch of luchadors there also so it
was a mixture of wrestling styles. Heisenberg actually got me the opportunity to wrestle him in Taiwan which was also a good experience and a good time.
CT: How did it feel to become the Zero1 World Heavyweight Champion which you held for an impressive 238 days?
DJ: It was good to see that all my hard work was leading to somewhere.
CT: Who has been your favorite opponent to wrestle in Japan?
DJ: Has to be either Masato Tanaka, Daisuke Sekimoto or Kohei Sato.
CT: How is Ryoji Sai as a tag team partner in which he and yourself make up the AJPW World Heavyweight Champions?
Couldn’t think of anyone better to be teamed with at the moment and have the AJPW World Tag Belts with. Not just in the ring but outside he always goes out of his way to help me when I need it, plus I’ve been wrestling against him, or in teams with him for my whole career here in Japan so I know he’s awesome at what he does.
CT: What are your thoughts on this years Champion Carnival and current AJPW?
DJ: The line up of wrestlers in this years Champion Carnival is awesome, and it is good to finally have the chance to be able to wrestle a lot more people that I have not had the opportunity to step in the ring with before and grow more. I had worked the AJPW World Tag League back in 2013 and I’m happy to see that AJPW is growing and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be able to keep doing what I do for a great promotion with so much history, amazing talent and team.
CT: Finally, where do you see yourself in ten years time? Do you see yourself in any of the major North American promotions?
Hopefully retired tanning on a beach every day with a beer in my hand and my family next to me. If the opportunity and timing is right then I would consider going back to America, however for me now Japan is home and most importantly I’m happy here. Also I still have so much more that I want to achieve with my career here.
By Chris @TheManFromMars
You can follow Dylan James as he competes in the Champion Carnival now, over on the All Japan on demand service: ajpw.tv