Former WWE / Impact Wrestling star and current New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) performer Lance Archer recently spoke with the NJPW English website for an interview. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On his debut: “Oh, yeah. There were maybe 2, 300 people. It was at a car festival, and there were lots of attractions going on, wrestling was one of them. My opponent was this guy called Tarzan Taylor, and I was calling myself Lance Steele, heh. I was super nervous, but my opponent was a very old school guy. Got the fans riled up and then when I got in there, they really loved me.”
On how he ended up with Impact Wrestling: “I was at an autograph show, and there were a lot of people from TNA there doing meet and greets. One of the girls from TNA there asked me why I hadn’t joined yet and I said I’d tried and it didn’t work out. She asked me to give her a video and pictures, and a few days later I got asked to do a tryout. So I drove from Dallas to Nashville, by myself, for nine and a half hours.”
On working with Sting: “My best moment with Sting was when they made a little movie, this kind of biopic of him. I go to be in it and hit him with a chair. That made me so happy (laughs)! He and his family actually live very near me now. Really nice guy.”
On his stint with WWE: “I got an offer, signed, but I was only there for a year and a half before I got released. At the time, there were a lot of rules there. I was told ‘no’ an awful lot, so it was very difficult. But I got to be in a battle royal at Wrestlemania. It was a good experience, all in all. Harry (Davey Boy Smith Junior) was there at the time. We weren’t friends per se, but friendly.”
On how he felt about NJPW when he joined: “I didn’t know Japanese wrestling at the time in full, but I knew it was the biggest company in Japan. MVP had gone there from WWE and said lots of good things.”
On Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Killer Elite Squad: “We both wanted to prove ourselves I think. He has a famous name of course, a famous father to live up to. I wanted to show that my time in WWE wasn’t everything, so we were both motivated to do something special. Sometimes tag partners don’t get on well out of the ring, but we both had a goal that brought us together.”
On his favorite matches in NJPW: “Oh, man, so many! We had lots of great matches with Tenzan and Kojima.. But my number one memory would be my first Wrestle Kingdom. Against Anderson and Goto, we went in as champions and we kept the titles. And I got to ride a cool motorcycle! As a singles, I don’t have too many matches, but the G1s have let me wrestle Okada, Tanahashi, AJ Styles which was my favorite match before Will Ospreay. I challenged Nakamura once for the Intercontinental title.”
Check out the complete Lance Archer interview at NJPW1972.com.