In a recent edition of his Tama’s Island podcast, New Japan Pro Wrestling superstar Tama Tonga opened up on his decision to change up his appearance this year, which saw him trim his hair, as well as shave his beard off, noting that he was trying to appeal to the audience in America, however when he made the change in appearance, he noticed that there was more fanfare from the fans in Japan.

“I wanted to grow, I wanted to evolve, I did not want to stay the same, I felt like the look and everything was coming to an end and I knew it was cool, I did not want to cut my hair, but at the same time, I wanted to cut my hair. I did not want to shave my beard, but at the same time I wanted to shave my beard and I came to a realization one day, this whole time, because I lived in America, because I watch American wrestling, because the people I associated with was all American wrestling, I was catering to the American fans.

The look and the everything was an American style, it’s a badass, it’s what everybody wanted, it’s not oh you’re a badass if you don’t look badass and finally, I was like, it took me so long and I was like, I live in Japan, I need to cater to Japanese fans and they don’t have the same taste as the American fans, so then I was like, you know what I need. I remember when I first came here to Japan, clean cut and everything and I was instantly over, I was instantly over and I was in magazines and I remember they did a spread on me and I was like, what the f*** and I just did not get it, I thought they did this to everybody.”

The interview is available in full at this link.