Yuya Uemura has opened up about his experiences in the US and aspirations for his return to Japan.
Uemura made his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling on October 9th as the latest member of Just Five Guys.
Prior to this, the 28-year-old spent almost two years on excursion in the United States, wrestling for NJPW Strong, All Elite Wrestling and IMPACT Wrestling, as well as several independent promotions.
In an English-language interview with the official NJPW website, he spoke about his experiences and hopes for the future.
On training at the LA Dojo, Uemura said: “It was all about accuracy, all about precision with everything you do.” Uemura spoke warmly about the LA Dojo but felt a stronger connection with the US indie wrestling scene. He said the freedom and passion he witnessed encouraged him to venture beyond structured training.
I learned just how much they loved wrestling. They love it enough to work a day job and then wrestle all weekend, or they love it enough to be married to the business even if it means they don’t keep up romantic relationships. There’s tons of people like that. it made me feel that I should put more energy into just living in the American wrestling space, and using that time as best I could.
Reflecting on his journey, Uemura shared his transition from a tightly-knit community in Los Angeles to a lone venture in Florida:
Up to that point in time, I was always with people, always had meals prepared. This was the first time I really properly lived on my own, but Sumie Sakai stayed with me a bit at the start, and Ikemen Jiro helped out too.
He recalled an encounter with NJPW World Heavyweight Champion SANADA in August:
Funny story, his luggage never showed up, so I had to lend him my boots. But that got the two of us talking. I said I wanted to do my own thing as a wrestler, and SANADA said that they were trying to do something different with Just Five Guys.
I didn’t think much of it, then I met DOUKI in August. He was saying that they weren’t just a lump of people, that each of them were shooting for the top. He was like “If you come back to Japan, why not try things with us?”
On his future back in Japan with Just Five Guys, he said:
Just Five Guys still doesn’t have a fixed character to it as a group. When I questioned whether I could do what I wanted there, they were like “Whatever you want to do.” It was definitely easy to transition.
I don’t want to feel tied down right now, and compared to the other factions, J5G doesn’t have as much of a name. So it’s easier for us to make that name ourselves, and we can bring more status to the group as we move up.