Former WWE/Impact Wrestling talent Lance Hoyt was a recent guest on the Pancakes and Powerslams Slam to promote his Country Strong 2 event this evening in Hearne, Texas. Hoyt discussed having to stay incognito for his NJPW return with Suzuki-Gun, back injury that put him on the shelf, his new commentating career, and more. Thanks to Chris Featherstone for sending us the following highlights.
On Who Came Up With the Idea to Bring Suzuki-Gun Back to New Japan:
The show after WrestleKingdom 11, at Korakuen Hall, it’s like the Raw after Mania’, they’ve started that tradition about 3-5 years ago. It’s always a big show at Korakuen because you already have all the people that came to Tokyo for WrestleKingdom the day before, so it’s still during the holidays because the New Years is their biggest holiday of the year, so it really sets the tone with the storylines that came before at WrestleKingdom 11.
On How Long Was He Prepared to Return to Japan:
Our group, Suzuki-Gun had been involved with Pro Wrestling Noah for about two years, so we were told that we were going to come back at some point, so at the end of 2016 we were the told that this is it, things were going to happen. We don’t know when it’s going to happen but we have a plan and then pretty soon they told us that we were going to do the January 5th Korakuen Hall show for a reintroduction in New Japan. It was kind of a secret thing. We were told definitely don’t put anything on social media for me and [Harry] Smith to stay off because the fact that you are in Japan then the secret will be unveiled, things like that, to try and keep it a big surprise. They didn’t bring us to the show until the show had already started. It was a cool moment getting to do all that to be behind the scenes, nobody knew what was going to happen, so when we came out people were really excited.
On How He Got A Back Injury:
I’ve been battling a sciatic issue for a long time. It comes and goes, goes up and down, but I’ve already worked through it. Then I get something and suddenly turn it into a complete herniation. That first tour that we were back and there were two big shows, one was in Sapporo, Japan on February 5th, and the final show being on February 11th in Osaka, Japan. Well, on February 5th, I didn’t do anything specific where I remember, oh man this fall, oh man this maneuver where something happened where it hurt, something must have happened where I tweaked it to the point where every day passed February 5th it just got worse and worse and worse where they took me off the tour to make it to the show on February 11th because on February 10th I couldn’t even stand up in my hotel room; I was in so much pain whereby February 11th when everybody else was wrestling I was completely taken off the tour having surgery in Tokyo, which ultimately was a blessing and God took care of me because it didn’t happen in the States. If it happened in the States it would have been a bad situation where over there in New Japan, the great doctors took absolutely great care of me, so it was a blessing like I said.
On What His Next Plans Are Going Forward:
While I was in Japan still recovering from the surgery where I spent a week in the hospital and half a week in the hotel where I can be cleared to return finally, during that time period a good friend of mine who is a top Independent wrestler in Texas, he goes under the name ‘Dirty’ Andy Dalton. He got with my mom and family members and organized a benefit show that is going to be happening for me this Saturday in Hearne, Texas at the Hearne High School Gymnasium. Like I said, I had no clue this was going to happen where I actually got home and he mentioned that he was going to have this big announcement and I started giving him grief about what the big announcement was, he wouldn’t tell me what it was and would normally always tell me what the inside gossip was and all these other things, but he just wouldn’t do it until he announced it when it was going on. It was very cool and humbling for the idea of him and my family, along with the wrestlers who are going to be there and put in the time. I’ve had a tremendous amount of support, which I can’t mention any names because I don’t want to break the illusion of professional wrestling, but I have a large amount of people and companies who donated a good amount of money to me, which is amazing. Again, humbling thing because these are guys that I am acquainted with, some of them I’m better friends with and knowing some of these guys stepping in and doing what they did, there are so many people, I can’t even explain how many people have stepped up, showed love and support in different ways, so this Saturday in Hearne, Texas at the Hearne Gymnasium, it’s called ‘Country Strong 2’ and it’s a benefit for me. I hope people show up to those who organized the show more than just for myself.
On Future Goals When He Heals Up From His Back Surgery:
Obviously, I am working extremely hard to get back in the position to get back in the ring. I was given 5-6 month recovery timetable from the doctors there, but it’s a matter of where the injury was and the possibility of it recurring with things like that. I have to be 100% sure I can get back in the ring by that time. I’m hoping that it is around July, but there’s no guarantee to that. In the meantime, I have actually been doing commentary. There’s a great show with IPPV’s down in Texas with a company called WrestleCircuis, been doing commentary for them. I did one on Sunday night. I also did one for FightTV doing commentary out here in Texas called NAWA and then I did the commentary, which will be out on DVD for a company called VIP Wrestling, so that is something that I actually have been getting into recently and really enjoyed it. People are saying that I am okay, so it’s one of those things where if that truly became a possibility, where I can make a living out of it, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.
On the Crazy Bump John Morrison Took At a Recent WrestleCircus Event That He Called:
Oh, my goodness. It was the main event that had a truly amazing show from top to bottom. Then you have John Morrison vs. Brian Cage. He went up for a springboard on one rope, then tried to jump over to another rope to spring off and land on Cage who was on the floor and on his second rope attempt he kind of overshot it a bit and took a pretty nasty tumble to the floor. Amazingly, he didn’t truly get hurt in any way. I think his extreme background was one of those things where it allowed him to turn his body in one way where it helped him from truly getting badly injured. With everything that goes on with WrestleCircus in general, you never know what is going to happen—good or bad and that moment was a scary one, but luckily he wasn’t truly injured.