Photo Credit: Beyond Gorilla.
Karl Frederick’s, member of the world famous LA Dojo decided to take a rest and his busy workload to sit down and talk to our Own Eric Novak on the All Real Wrestling Podcast to discuss many topics from his transition from football in college to stepping between the ropes, discuss the first ever young lions cup, and to the absolute mentally edge it takes to get past the stages of being a young lion and performing at the big stages of NJPW.
To start the conversion Eric asked about his beginnings and where the interest of pro wrestling came from and his response was.
“uh it was one of those well besides me playing as a quarterback for the 49ers. The first things you hear like ‘What do you wanna be when you group up?’ And yeah it was Pro Wrestling and I played football college football my whole life and had a little crossroads in I want to say 2012. I stopped playing football at the university I was at but stayed in love with the fitness and by then I was already making music and so I left sports and went into the entertainment field and I had this idea and so I had a couple years of college left and 3 years before I joined the wrestling ring I decided and had my backup plan and as soon as I graduated that’s what I went for.’
After discussion about some of the good times has had and what kind of performance he has had in front of big and small crowd a question came from Eric asking about his change and how the gave him the call to come over to the land of the rising sun.
“I move into the Dojo in July or early august of 2018 and I didn’t go to Japan until July of 2019 so a full year in LA doing training and all that and honestly I needed the training and the time and it’s an absolute different level as they break you from the young Lion mold and strip you down so that year I feel took long enough for me get to the point where I’m itching to go and telling them to send my ass over there but I needed that year because by the time I got over there it’s like a 5 in a half week tour and I’ve never done that other then Rev Pro which is also with New Japan just a few weeks before I went to Japan and I was able to see the culture and how hard it is to tour and then the Young Lion duties and your full training at the same time bumping your ass off before the shows”
After discussion topics and how everything works out on that field of things Eric moved the interview toward a fresh topic of the Young lions cup and how Karl felt about it seeing how he was the winner at the end.
“Yeah I remember losing to Ren Narita and it’s Point based and after that match I won every match for the rest of the tournament and it came down to shota and I and we were both tied in the finals and yeah it was great for me because I got to compete with Clark and Alex and that entire class because they don’t do the Young Lion cup every year and I’m just happy to be in the ring with those stars like Ren and Shota because they are big stars and being able to prove I was the best of the crop and it meant a lot to me as well as Shibata and yeah there was pressure because that’s our dad he’s the reason I’m here and the rest I have my career as well as the life I want and he gave me the chance so it was a way to pay him back and honestly it was a great experience and it was a great honor and privilege to be the first Non Japanese guy to do that.”
Finally to wrap things up Eric asked about the thoughts of New Japan strong and how it felts that now wrestlers from the U.S as well as himself are getting a platform that they can receive more exposure for their craft which Karl ended with.
I’m Glad to be apart of it from the jump and it was more of a right place and right time especially in the midst of the pandemic and as hard as everyone is working in the show a lot of guys who aren’t signed are independent who I’ve seen grown and Adapted such as guys like the regal twins, Adrian brown because you do wrestle different on our show then you would other shows just seeing some of the guys get the opportunity and expose but just seeing them not only willing but to do the best they can. and they all stepped up and grown and I myself I’m done growing and I’ve graduated got the new gear and trying new stuff and open up the playbook and I’ve had single’s matches with KENTA And Jay White which were massive tests for seeing how are they are two of the best in the world but its good to see as a team and how we grown and its nice to have the tenure of Finjuice there and things like that and its nice that I’m able to contribute because the brand is what its about at the end of the day now i would like to be the face of this and New Japan and once we are able to travel we will be able to look back at the tapes shows in front of no people and be able to say look at what we did and what its become.”
If you use any quotes from this article then please credit Eric Novak of Wrestling Republic on the All Real Wrestling Podcast.
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