From Nexus original to The Darewolf, the man known as PJ Black has had a tumultuous career so far in professional wrestling. Appearing on the Brisco and Big Ace show on VOC Nation, he spoke with Wes Briscoe about how his time starting off in FCW was a big career highlight.
At the time I’d been wrestling for 10 years. I’d been working the indies, and I started when I was 16 years old, so I had already been wrestling all around the world. I just had to learn a couple of things like camera angles, the WWE style, the backstage politics if you want to call it that, but yeah I was lucky that Steve Keirn, and Dusty, and Norman and Dr. Tom, they all loved me and they gave me a shot.
Black comes from South Africa, so while other stars in developmental were biding their time before hitting the main roster, Black was amazed at his opportunity to work in the US.
Every time someone new came in they were like (threatened)… Everyone was giving me (crap), and once they saw me wrestle my first match and then they were like ‘oh damn, this kid can work’. Then I got booked on everything, everyone wanted to be my friend, it was the best time in my life.
Black’s South African roots also influenced the style he brought to the ring. Host Wes Brico credits Black with helping to invent the style currently prevalent across promotions alongside names like Seth Rollins and Kenny Omega. When he started out, Black just wanted to be unique.
Growing up in South Africa we didn’t have a style. The Japanese have the strong style, Mexico they have the Lucha libre, the American style is very established (with) lots of TV and storytelling which is my favorite part of wrestling, and then the British style is the technical style… I took all those styles and I just kind of combined them and focused on the entertainment aspect, the storytelling.
For the full interview with PJ, be sure to check out the podcast episode helpfully embedded below:
Thanks to VOC Nation for the above podcast transcripts!