Senshi (Low Ki)
This interview with Senshi (Low Ki, Kaval) was originally published on The Wrestling Voice on August 3, 2006.
Whatever you choose to call him, this wrestler is easily one of the best and most recognizable wrestlers on the US Indy Circuit today. While his small size of 5’8 and 180 pounds may have hindered other wrestlers, Low Ki/Senshi has made his mark on the wrestling scene of the new millennium and made it big while people twice and even thrice his size who debuted before him are still struggling to make their name. From his hard-hitting matches in Ring Of Honor to his work as a forefather of the TNA X Division, Low Ki/Senshi has made a name for himself that grows stronger with every match that passes, every chop that stings, and every Double Stomp that leaves the audience wondering how his opponent would ever be able to walk again.
It’s very hard to picture that this warrior is only twenty-six years of age and hasn’t even been wrestling for ten years. What’s not so hard is to picture what awaits him in the near and distant future if his career keeps progressing the way it has since his debut in 1998. More breath-taking matches, dozens of more title reigns and main events, and as many of his fans would state, a definitive Hall Of Fame slot in the distant future. While many may not agree with that, what all can agree is that Low Ki/Senshi has accomplished more in eight years than most could in eighty and hopefully in the next ten, twenty, or maybe even thirty years of his career, he will accomplish so much more. I, for one, will be watching with pleasure as Low Ki/Senshi continues to etch his name into the history books of pro wrestling, but like all, I’ll still cringe when I see some unlucky soul get hit with the Warrior’s Way.
Douglas Nunnally: Everyone, I’ve got the current X Division Champion of the world, Senshi aka Low Ki, with me right now. How are you today, man?
Senshi: I’m doing alright, just got out of the dojo.
Douglas Nunnally: How was the training today?
Senshi: Eh, it was a little light today considering the heat, but it was still efficient.
Douglas Nunnally: Yeah, how’s the heat affecting your training lately because it really is just unbearable a lot of days?
Senshi: To me, it’s just another challenge for me. I like training so it’s really not that big of a deal, I just try to get around it as best as I can. I’m also not crazy too. I know if my body’s talking back to me, I got to take it easy but I just try to work around it.
Douglas Nunnally: Do you know anybody else who’s having problems with their training because of the heat?
Senshi: No, not really right now. I pretty much train on my own so I really don’t stay in touch with a lot of the guys with their training.
Douglas Nunnally: All right, I know everybody wants me to ask about TNA first off, but I did want to start off talking a little bit about Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Douglas Nunnally: I know you have a lot of dates already planned for not only TNA, but also North American Indies like IWA Mid-South and the upcoming Ballpark Brawl. Basically, are you planning on going back to Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH any time soon and if so, how are you going to find time through all of this?
Senshi: With Pro Wrestling NOAH, right now I’m contracted to TNA so my main focus is going to be TNA for some time and considering I am the X Division Champion, my primary focus is going to have to be within TNA. I don’t plan on returning to Pro Wrestling NOAH for some time only because of the scheduling TNA has right now. It’s not out of the question; I definitely want to return to Pro Wrestling NOAH. I definitely want to get another shot at the GHC [Junior Heavyweight] Belt whether it be against KENTA or the current champ [Takashi] Sugiura. That’s definitely a goal of mine. I want to become the GHC Champion because I think I was so close at Final Battle in December and that’s just something that didn’t sit too well with me so that’s something I definitely have as a goal for the future. But just currently right now at this moment, I just don’t believe I’ll be returning to NOAH any time soon.
Douglas Nunnally: When you signed with TNA, how did those in the NOAH offices take the news?
Senshi: Well it was brought to their attention before I signed that I had been contacted and we had begun negotiating, so it’s not like they were caught off-guard. I always make sure I do my business properly so it was well received by Pro Wrestling NOAH and I have the welcome to come back. So everything was done properly so there’s no problems there.
Douglas Nunnally: Is there anyone left in the promotion, Pro Wrestling NOAH that is; that you’d love to go one-on-one with still that you might not have gotten the chance to?
Senshi: Actually it was my idea when I first got there that I wanted to go through the trial series only because I wasn’t a student of Pro Wrestling NOAH, I was the smallest guy on the roster, and I felt that would have been a great benefit to me to gain the experience of singles competition amongst all the higher ranking wrestlers in the promotion. I mean, I’ve seen what it did for [Yoshinobu] Kanemaru, for [Naomichi] Marufuji, for KENTA, and also most recently Go Shiozaki. I felt that kind of elevated them to show their worth on being part of that roster and being able to handle themselves well against the more dominant and more experienced wrestlers such like [Mitsuhara] Misawa, [Kenta] Kobashi, [Jun] Akiyama, and [Akira] Taue. Being that I was a foreigner, I always had the idea that I wanted to go through the trial series to prove myself for the pro wrestling fans and Pro Wrestling NOAH, but I just never got the chance. I know that I still want to fight one-on-one Marufuji. I never fought KENTA one-on-one in Japan. I would still love to go one-on-one with Kobashi even though that might sound a little ill-advised considering the size difference, but that’s not a concern to me. As well as Misawa and Akiyama, those are the guys that I would definitely look forward to seeing them one-on-one in the ring.
Douglas Nunnally: Now you mentioned Kobashi, what went through your mind when you heard the news about his cancer?
Senshi: It caught me off-guard. I actually had another wrestler asking if me if I knew if it was true because of my relation to Pro Wrestling NOAH. I hadn’t heard anything about it and I tried contacting NOAH to find out further information, but I just haven’t heard anything back so I’m still pretty much in the dark about what’s going on.
Douglas Nunnally: Are you proud with your work in Pro Wrestling NOAH overall, besides the fact that you didn’t get to go through trials?
Douglas Nunnally: You’re not really?
Senshi: No, I’m very hard to satisfy when it comes to my career, especially since I’m my toughest critic. I think I could have done better. Considering my size, I always had a disadvantage. I was still able to hold my own, but I just think I could have done more in order to be better received by the Japanese pro wrestling fans. I just think that for me there’s still more work to do to establish myself as a dominant threat in Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Douglas Nunnally: Do you have any regrets now that you’re with TNA that you might not be able to get that chance in the future?
Senshi: No, everything happens for a reason. I’m a firm believer in that. Some things work out for you, some things don’t. I’m trying to take everything as a positive experience so I’m not trying to dwell on anything as far as regretful. Again, TNA is my primary focus now, but that may change in the future. So I’m not closing the door on anything right now.
Douglas Nunnally: Let’s talk about one more promotion before we move onto TNA, one that people will probably recognize more: Ring Of Honor.
Douglas Nunnally: You left the promotion earlier this year due to what was said as I think a “disagreement in business arrangements” and at the time, you were scheduled for many main events to come specifically the main event for the 100th show which would have been you and Christopher Daniels and Bryan Danielson in a triple threat in the rematch from the first ever show. Is there anything more you can tell us about what led to you leaving Ring Of Honor?
Senshi: It was simply put as I said before: it was just business disagreement and there’s no sense in trying to force anything so clearly we just separated and moved on.
Douglas Nunnally: Would you say a return is likely in your future for Ring Of Honor?
Senshi: I don’t believe that’s up to me.
Douglas Nunnally: You think it’s up to people in the offices at Ring Of Honor like Gabe [Sapolsky]?
Senshi: Yeah, that’s all on them. You know, I’ve never been a negative person just to close myself off from anything so that’s up to them. Plus, I think that depends on them, on their feeling about the situation itself. Over the course of a few years, you can see that Gabe has proven himself temperamental so that’s up to what he feels. It’s not up to me. I just wrestle.
Douglas Nunnally: A lot of people credit you, Daniels, and Danielson as building the company up in 2002. Knowing this, how hard was it to decide to leave the promotion?
Senshi: Well, I never built up the company; I’ll say that first and foremost. For me, I’ve always been a firm believer in you’re only as good as your competition. It’s just the match-ups that I was given which helped elevate the product itself and all the hard work from the people that were involved. Leaving, it wasn’t necessarily something I wanted to do but I felt needed to be done. Something I don’t regret which I’m sure other people may think differently, but I don’t regret it. I just moved on with my business and I’m doing fine as well as I hear that Ring Of Honor’s doing fine so there’s no loss there.
Douglas Nunnally: Have you been keeping up with the product since you left?
Douglas Nunnally: Just don’t have time?
Senshi: No, I just have no interest in it.
Douglas Nunnally: Well, did you hear about what happened on the July 15th show at the end with Jim Cornette turning heel on Homicide?
Senshi: No, I did not.
Douglas Nunnally: I think, off the top of my head, that Homicide asked for you to be re-instated and Cornette just refused and then turned on Homicide. What are your thoughts on that?
Senshi: I can’t really say. I wasn’t there. I haven’t heard anything about it.
Douglas Nunnally: You don’t have any problems with them using your name in a storyline?
Senshi: It doesn’t bother me any because if they can’t present what they’re promising the people then it’s going to fall on them. It’s like Akiyama calling out Samoa Joe in Pro Wrestling NOAH. I don’t know if there have been talks in possibly bringing Joe to NOAH, but it seems unlikely since he’s a major figure in TNA right now. That’s up to people who are putting that out there to begin with. That falls on them.
Douglas Nunnally: All right, let’s move onto TNA finally since I know a lot of people want to hear about it.
Douglas Nunnally: How does it feel to be back in TNA first off?
Senshi: It’s another beginning for me. I was there for the beginning, the very first day; I was in the very first match of the company. Not being there for a few years then coming back to a completely different atmosphere is definitely something cool. I see a lot of familiar faces throughout the years that have come to me. You know, so far so good. I haven’t had any problems there and everything’s been positive.
Douglas Nunnally: Why exactly did you change your ring name from Low Ki to Senshi?
Senshi: Well, they figured they wanted to take a new approach on things and I was up for it. It didn’t bother me any, I just was concerned about how the fans would receive me because I know I’ve been known as Low Ki for such a long time. I didn’t know if they would be receptive to the change or if they would really fight it. Right now, it just seems to be in a transition stage. It seems like there are some people who accept it, but there still some people who don’t and still rely on the old name. But to me, it’s not the big of a deal because the only thing that’s changed is the name. I’m still fighting hard when I’m in there.
Douglas Nunnally: Now, why did you leave TNA in 2004 exactly and what changed between then and now to prompt you to come back?
Senshi: Well that’s the thing; I never really left TNA in 2004. I’ve been hearing that over the past few years and it just bugs me out. I never had any problems with anyone in the past. I know that they wanted me to sign a contract with them in the past and I just wanted to gain my experience in Japan which they were very well aware of. There were never confrontations or problems with anybody. I guess that was not going with what they wanted so they just said I got up and left which I never did. They wanted me to be a contracted wrestler, but I chose not to be. There weren’t any bad problems after that. I didn’t go on the internet or be interviewed and bash them saying that they were a bad company or nothing, but I’ve heard that’s what I did. To me, that was very surprising.
Douglas Nunnally: What kind of differences, if any, do you see in the company between when you were last with them back in 2004 and now, besides the obvious change and the fact that you’re on TV every week now?
Senshi: Well for starters, it seems to be in a nicer place: Orlando, Florida. Nashville’s pretty nice, but the weather in Florida seems to be a lot better. The atmosphere seems a little better organized although there’s still a lot of room to get better and to organize everything in a more positive way. It just seems the overall, I guess, goal for everyone as a company seems to be a little more attainable. Everyone seems to be better aligned like everyone on the same page. It seems to be that they’re organized in that aspect. In Nashville, it was still the baby stage of the company so it was a lot of growing pains. They were trying to see what worked and what didn’t and I think now they have a better idea of what they have as far as what direction they want to go in and what aspirations they have as a company to really try to work towards and go after.
Douglas Nunnally: You mentioned back in Nashville and you mentioned earlier that you were there in the beginning. You were one of the first X Division wrestlers in TNA and you really put the division on the map with Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles especially in that triple ladder match that older TNA fans will remember and love. What do you think about the division right now compared to when it was that you were creating it with AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn and when you left in 2004?
Senshi: I’m probably going to get some feedback on this, but I think it’s weak. Think of it this way, I just came into the company a few months ago and I’m already the champion. What does that say about their wrestlers? These guys, they’re very gifted athletes and I think there’s certain aspects about them that they really need to work on to become a champion. I take pride in what I do as a profession, as a career. I dedicated my life to doing this. Learning and trying to get better and such. I think that some of the wrestlers have become complacent in their current roles in being a part of the X Division and I don’t think it’s necessarily to become a better wrestler, to become a better athlete. I think it’s just, “Ok, I’m comfortable at this level. Let me stay here.” I’ve just never been that way. I think I’ve proven that over the years by the matches that I’ve done and been a part of and the way I fight against every competitor.
Douglas Nunnally: Would you say that everyone in the X Division needs to get more hungry, get more into it? Like you were saying, they’re all getting complacent. Do you think they need to get off their butts and work harder and harder and harder?
Senshi: Yeah, I think that’s what it is. A little swift kick in the ass usually wakes somebody up. It’s from me, so be it.
Douglas Nunnally: Would you say that’s the only problem with the X Division right now?
Senshi: No. I think there’s a core group of guys that are labeled as X Division. I think if it was pretty much you throw these guys in there to fight for their positioning, I think that would really turn it up. Right now, I don’t believe they have a ranking system which I think in the past really helped guys out and I think that would really light a fire under them to get them started onto working towards getting better as wrestlers and really working on possible match-ups for the future.
Douglas Nunnally: I wanted to talk about LockDown for a little bit cause that’s where you returned to face Christopher Daniels after being out of the company for almost two years. What was it like just coming back into TNA? What was the locker room like, what did they take to you, and what was the crowd like, what was going through your mind?
Senshi: With the locker room, the wrestlers, and staff, everyone seemed pretty open to me coming back. I don’t believe I left on bad terms when I wasn’t there in 2004 so everything was pretty cool. Knowing people over time, I was pretty familiar with a lot people there. But I always keep to myself so I’m sure some people thought I was being a little hesitant from being social, but that wasn’t a bad experience. Being at the LockDown Pay Per View, for one, it was my first time being in the six sided ring. To complicate things even more, there was a cage on top of that. [Laughs] So, I mean, not being aware of that situation until I got there was a little weird. But all in all, it was a good experience and I got comfortable pretty quick as far as adapting to that ring and that atmosphere and that environment.
Douglas Nunnally: You mentioned the six sided ring and it really probably threw you off like you said.
Senshi: Yeah, it did.
Douglas Nunnally: Which do you prefer really, the six sided or the four sided?
Senshi: I don’t know. I’ve always tried to keep an open mind. I think you keep your skills pretty sharp by challenging them. You know, the four sided is more traditional. I appreciate more traditional pro wrestling, but the six sided itself doesn’t seem to really do much to really throw off the meat of the match, the excitement, and the things that the wrestlers can do. You know, they can still do everything, it’s just; you have two extra sides now.
Douglas Nunnally: Did you practice at all in the ring before the LockDown Pay Per View or when you got into the ring during the Pay Per View, was that the first time you’d ever been in the six sided ring?
Senshi: Yeah, that was the very first time. I didn’t want to get into the ring because I just wanted it to be a surprise. I’m pretty sure you can ask any of the other wrestlers that every time before I wrestle I’m out in the parking lot warming up, doing my pre-match training. You know, that was pretty much all I did. I just did that, just tried to keep a focused mind, and just went in there and had no problem.
Douglas Nunnally: You won the X Division Championship, which you currently have, literally 24 hours after becoming the number one contender at Slammiversary. Did you feel TNA rushed things with your title win or wasted what could have been a great feud by giving it away for free right after Slammiversary?
Senshi: I think they were afraid of me making Joe look bad. Me and Joe, we have, I guess, unique style matches as compared to other wrestlers and I think for the guys that they have on the roster, they know that they’re not going to fight him the way I am. I’ve always been the underdog, I’ve always been the smaller guy, but I’ve never backed down to anybody and I think that for that simple fact that Joe wasn’t going to come into the ring and maul me like he’s been doing all the other guys, I think they were nervous about that.
Douglas Nunnally: What do you think about now that Joe’s out of the X Division and trying to go after the NWA Title?
Senshi: If that’s what he wants to do, let him. It has no concern with me, it doesn’t affect my paycheck. I’m still the champ and I got a whole bunch of other guys I can beat up.
Douglas Nunnally: You don’t have any desire to face Joe in the ring, in TNA that is?
Senshi: I don’t need to chase him because he doesn’t have anything that I want.
Douglas Nunnally: Since winning the belt, you’ve had, I believe, one match on iMPACT! and one match on the PPV. Does this bother you at all?
Senshi: No. The in-ring time doesn’t really bother me because I train no matter what so I’m still keeping up with what I need to maintain. I guess that’s more ring time for the guys they’re going to keep feeding me. I guess since I became a champion so shortly in such a short time, then I guess I don’t need as much practice as they do.
Douglas Nunnally: Do you think that once they get the two hours, which everyone thinks that they’re on the cusp of getting on Spike TV, that you’re going to start maybe defending the title more, having more regular matches on iMPACT!?
Senshi: I wouldn’t doubt it. I think that’s probably a big goal for them right now just because it seems to fall on the same format of WCW. There seem to be a lot of familiar faces involved so I would think that if that’s going to be the case in the future, they’ll have more time to advertise more wrestlers so I think that will probably end up happening.
Douglas Nunnally: Has management told you or any of the guys in the locker room how close they are to getting the two hours or if they’re close at all?
Senshi: No, that’s management stuff. I’m just here to wrestle so I don’t get involved with all that.
Douglas Nunnally: All right, do you have any plans to defend the belt anywhere else besides in TNA?
Senshi: I’ve been thinking about that. I don’t know the rules involved in defending that thing because I’ve been involved in other companies where they’ll book TNA wrestlers and all of a sudden, it’s a championship match and I don’t know if that can happen with this belt or any of the other ones without notification from the management team. In my personal opinion, I would love to take it to Japan and defend it against some of the guys in Pro Wrestling NOAH just because I think they have the top wrestlers in the world as far as conditioning and skill. I would love nothing more to go over there and prove myself over there, so hopefully that will give me a free pass to some GHC Junior Championship in the future some time. In Japan, possibly Mexico; I don’t know. I would rather just prove myself as champion by fighting as much as possible against everyone that they want to throw at me.
Douglas Nunnally: Have you talked to anybody in TNA about maybe going over to Japan or Mexico?
Senshi: No, it hasn’t been brought up as of this moment. I’m definitely eager to bring it up to their attention, but I want to gauge their feel for it first.
Douglas Nunnally: What do you want people to remember about your title reign down the line?
Senshi: I mean, I think everyone as a champion wants to go down as a fighting champion. I don’t think anyone goes and gets the championship and thinks like, “Well yeah, I just wanted to be a mediocre champion.” Naturally, I would want to go down to be as one of the toughest considering my size difference amongst everybody, but I guess just one that’s just very active. Not necessarily the greatest, but just a very active champion. I know Joe had his reign for what was it, 19 months, 22 months? Something like that in Ring Of Honor. He was defending it like crazy. That’s very demanding on someone’s body and I think I’m conditioned enough to maintain something like that and I look forward to trying. I think currently Chris Daniels has the longest reign as X Division Champion, I think like 186 days, so I want to see if I can beat that.
Douglas Nunnally: I think you have to last ’till the end of the year to beat that one. Do you think you could do it?
Senshi: I think there’s a good possibility.
Douglas Nunnally: Does it bother you that the division has taken maybe a step back since Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and AJ Styles have all gone out of it and looked to other things like the NWA Tag Team straps and the NWA strap itself?
Senshi: I don’t think it’s taken a step back. I think it opened people’s eyes that you have very talented wrestlers in there. Now it’s time for them to step up, to show each one of themselves as individuals. Joe came in like a monster and he just bull rushed his way through it and from him, who else has stood out on their own? I don’t think it’s a step back. No lack of respect towards the wrestlers there, but I think it’s just a way of opening their eyes to, “All right, guys. Now it’s your time. The field is open against me. Now it’s your time to step it up.”
Douglas Nunnally: Excluding yourself is there anyone in the division right now that you see as the next breakout star?
Senshi: I think Jay Lethal. I think at 21 years old, he has the world in front of him. He’s still a baby and there’s just so much he can learn if he keeps his attitude good. His physical ability is just really up there. He hasn’t been injured. Nice and healthy. Good physique. Good attitude. He has the world at his fingertips right now. If he can maintain his health, he can have a long future ahead of him too.
Douglas Nunnally: We were talking about earlier how most of the X Division stars need to be more hungry. Would you say Jay Lethal needs to be a lot more hungry in the ring?
Senshi: I think he needs to be more hungry, but also more intelligent. He’s young and I think he falls into the category of where guys are so young and ambitious to get into the ring and wrestle and really wow the crowd, they may do things that may not necessarily be in their best interest physically. I don’t want to see guys get hurt because I want them to come to me one hundred percent so we can wrestle at the highest level. I think he falls into that category sometimes.
Douglas Nunnally: Is there anybody else in the United States right now who you think would be perfect for the X Division right now or who you’d love to go at in the X Division in TNA?
Senshi: I’m not familiar because I haven’t really been following pro wrestling independently in the United States for the past few years. I’m not really too familiar with who’s been around. I can go by some of the guys from Ring Of Honor that I’ve seen recently like Matt Sydal seems to be stepping it up. I hear a lot of buzz around him. I believe he was in TNA before. I don’t know what happened there, but he was there. I believe Austin Aries recently just came back. Even Nigel McGuiness. He came over to Pro Wrestling NOAH and I believe he held his own fairly well against the Japanese wrestlers, the Junior Heavys and the Heavyweights. It’s open for contrast of style. Not everyone’s going to wrestle the same style I wrestle or Jay Lethal or even Sonjay, but it’d be good to have a good contrast of styles to see what type of match can be created for these fans.
Douglas Nunnally: In the past, TNA has brought in people from Mexico and from New Japan Pro Wrestling. Is there any hope or plans for that to happen again in the future against yourself and the X Division?
Senshi: Again, that would be on the TNA management. I’m ready to fight. I really don’t care who it is. It also goes into the hands of the booking team. You know, who’s going to book these things? Booking creates matches. I believe you have to ask them. I’m just here. I’m the champ. They got to come fight me; I don’t have to go chase them.
Douglas Nunnally: What are your thoughts on Kevin Nash competing in the X Division or rather against X Division stars?
Senshi: Eh, I don’t know. I have mixed feelings about that. In a sense I guess it’s a slight benefit for the more experience. He has so much more experience over those wrestlers and that can be a benefit to them. But also, it seems like he’s trying to make himself look big by putting himself against guys who are so small and at a physical disadvantage. I’m not really too big on that. I find it funny how there’s a big contrast between me and him. He has that whole “Size Matters” thing then I’ve always preached about it’s not the size of the fighter, but the size of the fight he will bring. I just find that curious. I don’t know; I have mixed feelings about that. It’s like a double edged sword. It’s a benefit to him being there, but also there seems like there might not be a benefit.
Douglas Nunnally: Is there any desire to maybe step in the ring and teach him a lesson about the X Division?
Senshi: Oh, I’d love to. I would love nothing more than to just kick him and chop him down. I think that’d be interesting.
Douglas Nunnally: What do you think about the overall direction and product of TNA right now?
Senshi: I think they’re still in a transition stage. It’s only four years old as a company. It’s seems to be making more positive moves as far as growing as a company, so I think it’s still in that stage of uncertainty where it can go in any direction right now. Again, I’m not involved in the management or business aspect of it. I just wrestle, but just from the things that I hear and things that I see, it just seems to be in a growing stage. Just like anything else in a growing stage, it’s going to have its up and downs. I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see.
Douglas Nunnally: In your opinion, what would it take for TNA to go from the step that it’s at now to the next step, the next big thing? What would they need to do?
Senshi: Experience. I think the competition has so much more experience over the years, it just puts them at such an advantage that it’s really not competing at that same level and I don’t think it will be competing for a long time. There’s experience in so many different categories: production, staff, organization; there’s so many things that they’re so far in advantage that it’s just really going to take a long time for TNA to catch up. I think TNA has the ability to do it, I just think they just need the time for it and it’s going to take some time for all that.
Douglas Nunnally: Now, TNA’s going to do Bound For Glory in Detroit. A lot of people have been saying for months, maybe even up to a year, that TNA needs to do this and needs to get out of Orlando and tour around doing the PPVs. Do you think this is the step that needs to be taken right now?
Senshi: I think it’s, “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” We asked for it and now we’re going to get it and at the same time, this could be an opportunity for TNA to see if this would be a benefit for them. They’ve been comfortable in Orlando for so long, why not go out and try a new area, a new place and see how well the company will fare in that new environment? I think it will be a step in the right direction. It’s definitely worth a shot. I think they did fairly well in the show that they did in Philadelphia at the former ECW Arena. Why not give it a shot and see how they do with it?
Douglas Nunnally: Do you feel like the crowd in TNA is suffocating the product maybe to a degree?
Senshi: No, I don’t think they’re suffocating it, I think they’re just not the right fans. I don’t think they necessarily attract pro wrestling fans consistently. I think it’s the way that they’re arranged is relevant to the park itself as far as who comes for the events. I’m really not sure, I think it just seems like some times it’s just not necessarily TNA or wrestling fans in general, but people who are just there to see something special while they may not have the same appreciation that a wrestling fan would.
Douglas Nunnally: All right, I just wanted to move on to another topic here, there’s a lot of talk about WWE’s Wellness Policy and while that’s pretty much well-known and public, TNA’s policy on substance abuse is not. What can you tell us about TNA’s stance on steroids, drugs, et cetera?
Senshi: I’m still fairly new to the company so I’m not as familiar I guess where some of the other guys would be. They seem pretty…I wouldn’t say strict, but they want their guys to be as healthy as possible. I mean, we took tests for certain things a month ago or so, so they’re definitely interested in the well-being of their wrestlers. They don’t want them to get sick, they don’t want them to be sick, and if they are sick, they don’t want them to spread anything to any other wrestlers. They’re showing that they’re careful and they want to make sure that their wrestlers are taken care of, so they seem pretty good about that so far. Again, I’m fairly new to the company so I probably wouldn’t as much as somebody who’s been there a while longer.
Douglas Nunnally: Do you think it would be a good idea for TNA to institute a policy like WWE’s?
Senshi: Why not? I don’t see the harm in it. You want your guys to be the best that they can possibly be, but you also want them to be clean. Why shouldn’t they?
Douglas Nunnally: Now you’re a pretty busy man, but do you have a chance to catch any WWE? I know you said you haven’t caught any US Indies in the past couple years, but have you caught any WWE recently?
Senshi: As of recently, no I haven’t. I believe the last time I watched it was when they were doing something between Triple H and Kane where they were talking about a dead body and that just really disgusted me and I just turned it off so I really haven’t watched in a long, long time.
Douglas Nunnally: So I think that’d be about four years ago. How do WWE and their product take a toll on the TNA locker room? Is it common to talk about that, to talk about the competition since TNA is trying to compete with WWE?
Senshi: Well you can see that the people who have experience over there, there are probably reasons, good reasons, they’re no longer there. They can be pretty apparent to some, but pretty subtle to others. Like I said, everything happens for a reason so everyone’s in their current place for some reason. I know people who are up there, I know people who have been there that are in TNA, and I know people who have been there who aren’t in any of the companies. Some people get better experiences than others, so you just take what’s said or what’s being presented as is. Take with a grain of salt, I guess.
Douglas Nunnally: TNA has, maybe in the past year or so, just been making more and more WWE references. Recently we saw the Dudley Boyz talk about ECW on a pre-show before a TNA PPV, I think it was Slammiversary, and we also recently saw Rhino burning the ECW Title live on iMPACT! Do you think TNA needs to maybe shift away from that and maybe focus more on its own product instead of taking shots at another company?
Senshi: I think so only because I think it’s best to just focus on your business and even though you may be doing something to prove a point; you don’t want to necessarily aid someone else when they don’t need it. I think that falls into the category of free promoting. WWE or whatever they call themselves now, I’m sure they’re not making any references to TNA because they could care less. They’re a bigger company and they got other things that are important to them, so I’m pretty sure they’re not even bothered.
Douglas Nunnally: All right, it’s time to start wrapping this up. Is there anything big going on with you in the near future that you’d like to let all the listeners know?
Senshi: At the moment, I’m just trying to increase my scheduling. I haven’t been home in a long time so I’m trying to re-establish myself as a threat in the states. I’ll be actually wrestling against 2 Cold Scorpio in IWA Mid-South on August 11th. Delirious the following night in IWA Mid-South. Fighting Jay Lethal one-on-one in Next W in Connecticut. I’m just trying to get my hands into the mix, into the US Indies once again and really get to know the current level of wrestling that’s being presented.
Douglas Nunnally: Well, you can check out Senshi on iMPACT! every Thursday night on Spike TV as well as at the Hard Justice PPV on the 13th later this month where you’ll be defending your X Division title and like you said, you’re going to be in IWA Mid-South as well. That’s basically it. Senshi, thanks for doing this interview, man.
Senshi: Thanks for having me.
Douglas Nunnally: All right, take care.
Senshi: Take it easy.