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JONAH on NXT 2.0: “It’s a little bit disheartening hearing the things like they are not actively seeking independent wrestlers anymore.”

JONAH appeared on “One-on-One” with Jon Alba this week to talk about choosing his new name, people that have influenced his career, and his thoughts on NXT 2.0.

JONAH explaining why his name is in all caps:

“There’s a lot of guys in Japan that did that, one being KENTA. His name was always in all capitals, just KENTA. I had that in my mind, but at the same time, I’m a big hip hop fan, and legendary rapper MF DOOM who passed away recently, he would always spell his name in all caps, so that’s another reason why.”

JONAH talking about the big men from the past that influenced his career:

“I take a lot of influence from a lot of the big men, especially Bam Bam Bigelow. I think he was very underrated. If you go back and watch his matches, like his matches with Bret Hart for example, he’s not just the big man. He’s a work rate big man, and that’s what I want to be. I was heavily influenced by him and Stan Hansen. Obviously how he was in Japan was fantastic and is what I want to be a modern version of when I get to go over there, and of course, Vader as well.”

JONAH’s thoughts on NXT 2.0:

“For me It’s a little conflicting,” he began. “My time with NXT, I would never bag on because I was treated really well. I had great times with Hunter and the previous administration, but now it seems like pretty much everyone I worked with is gone. They’re not there anymore, so it’s a little bit disheartening hearing the things like they are not actively seeking independent wrestlers anymore. They are just looking for just athletes is also disheartening.”

“I coached people back in Australia. There’s people that wanted to get to that pinnacle and now they see that and say, ‘Well maybe I can’t get there anymore.’ I also want to be a beacon of light and go, ‘Hey, you can go elsewhere. You can go to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, AEW, there’s a lot more now that wasn’t there before.’”

“I think the biggest thing for me is passion. When I was there, there were athletes that came through that were not passionate about wrestling at all and you could see it. They were just collecting a paycheck. Then there are some athletes that come in and genuinely love pro wrestling. I think those guys of course are going to be the ones who stand out along with the indie wrestlers that have done it their whole lives, but you can’t teach passion.”

“That’s the biggest thing for me. If they don’t have a love for pro wrestling, I don’t care if they’re 6’8”, it doesn’t matter. If they don’t have a love for it, it’s not going to work.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit with a h/t to for the transcription. includes ad-free versions of Conrad Thompson’s podcasts including ARN, What Happened When, Grilling JR, Something To Wrestle and 83 Weeks. Members can also get exclusive merchandise, bonus content and more.

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