Scurll made his NJPW debut as the lone representative of the Bullet Club in the 2017 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he finished with eight points, scoring victories over former tournament winners Jushin Thunder Liger, Ricochet, and Ospreay. Six months later he won the IWGP Jr. Title from Ospreay and after challenges from Takahashi and Kushida, it was Scurll who decided he’d face all three men at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
In this interview, Scurll talks about his outstanding record against Ospreay, what it means to be in such a unique match and the pressure that comes with it, his first experience in New Japan and trying to be something different for the fans, and some very unique goals.
Do you have any idea of your record against Will Ospreay?
Marty Scurll: There is a true stat out there which says I’m 3000 percent better than Will Ospreay, so I presume my winning streak against Will Ospreay is 3000.
You are 11-3 against him in singles matches and 9-0 in title matches.
Marty Scurll: Is that true? That’s ridiculous. That’s so funny.
Do you remind him of how one-sided your rivalry has been?
Marty Scurll: I used to, but I’m kind of over it now. I’m so far ahead in the race, it’s not even funny anymore. Dude, It’s a fact. I’ve outclassed you in every shape, way, and form. It’s not even fun anymore. Give me a new challenge. Give me 10 Will Ospreays and I’ll beat them all at the same time.
You’ve been in multi-man matches before, but are you aware of how rare these are in NJPW?
Marty Scurll: I’ve very aware. That’s why I made the match. I didn’t want to come to New Japan and do the same thing everyone else does.
(Goes into mocking impression voice) “Oh, I’m a great champion. I defended my belt seven times against seven different challengers.”
That’s been done a thousand times before. How’s that going to change the business? How’s that’s going to spike ratings? How that’s going to gain new interest if it’s been done before? So, I come in, I win the Junior Heavyweight Title pretty much straight away, which is completely unheard of. Most guys don’t even a win a match for two years after their debut in New Japan.
I come in from the UK, win that title belt pretty much straight away, absolutely smash merchandise records for that company. I’ve made that company more money than any junior heavyweight in history already. Maybe other than Jushin Liger. You have to respect the legend that is Jushin Thunder Liger, but what I’ve done in that company already is completed unheard of and something that a lot of people don’t even realize.
Then I’ve got this belt and I don’t want there to be any doubt that I’m the best. I’ll defend it against the three top junior heavyweights at Wrestle Kingdom. I’ll beat them all at the same time.
You started appearing in the “Being the Elite” YouTube series before you joined the Bullet Club, so you knew what kind of popularity came with being in the group. Did you ever expect to be in the group or did you ever have thoughts of joining the group?
Marty Scurll: Yea, I suspected I might get approached about joining originally and to be honest with you, I’m a bit of a loner in wrestling and I like to do things on my own. I’m The Villain at the end of the day. I don’t like to associate myself with too many people.
The thing is when you’re top guys and you have such big passion, you gravitate towards each other, so when I became friends with the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, it was an obvious thing.
What’s interesting about the Bullet Club now is that most groups are built around one top guy and this group has so many top acts. I can main event any show in the world. The Young Bucks are a main event act. Cody is a many event act. Kenny Omega is a main event act. We’re all in the same group, and even if we have different philosophies, we all have one aim. That’s to create a product that the fans can be proud of and we want to change the wrestling business. It’s better we do it collectively. It’s a natural fit.
The Japanese fans took to you quickly during the Best of the Super Juniors. How was that first-time experience different from other places you’ve worked around the world?
Marty Scurll: It’s crazy. It was fun for sure. It’s fun to go to this audience that has no idea what I’m about and has no expectations. They’re not sure what this guy is. Then I come out and it’s like, “Holy hell. What the hell is this guy? This man, this birdman who’s obsessed with chicken wings and breaking people’s fingers.” There’s fans that have never heard of someone who speaks like me, who wrestles like me, that acts like me, and they’re blown away.
It was so much for me to go there and for them to not know my act and boom, smack in the face, there’s The Villain. Holy cow, this guy’s on fire. It’s real good fun. I’m happy the fans gravitated toward it. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. You’re going to like me fans whether you want to or not, and when I beat up Will Ospreay numerous times, they obviously had no choice but to respect me.
What adjustments did you have to make while working for NJPW? Is there a specific aspect that makes it different from working in other places?
Marty Scurll: New Japan is built around competition. It’s built around respect. It’s the King of Sports. There’s much more demand on the in-ring style, but at the same time, this is not UFC or MMA, so you will see characters. With someone like a Will Ospreay, he’s amazing in the ring, don’t get me wrong, but once you’ve seen that, what more is there? What depth is there? Why am I going to buy a ticket to see him wrestle?
I think that’s why I’ve come and made a splash in the junior heavyweight division because I’ve given them something different. My whole intention for wrestling is to be different and stand out by doing stuff other people don’t do, and so doing that in New Japan, where this is a massive focus on wrestling. So still strict on the wrestling but there’s other cool stuff as well that the fans are going to gravitate towards.
Is there someone who has helped you the most when you’ve been in New Japan?
Marty Scurll: Other than myself, obviously I have to speak for the rest of the guys in the group, like Kenny and the Young Bucks. I think we push each other. It’s almost like we compete with each other to be better. We compete with each other to think outside the box. That’s really helped me, just being around those guys. It’s going to bring out the best in you. Just wanting to go there and not being afraid to be you. Not being afraid to do things that haven’t been done before. Those guys give me the confidence to do so.
Let’s go back to your match at Wrestle Kingdom. Do you feel an extra sense of pride being in that match knowing the company doesn’t do these very often?
Marty Scurll: Yeah. For me, it’s a challenge. Ospreay’s had his run there. They’ve seen him. They know what he’s about, that’s fine. Kushida, he’s been Junior Heavyweight champ multiple times. Takahashi, he’s had his title run, but he’s still very, very popular and in my head, the fans are going to be firmly behind him. They’ve seen his rise to the top and everything else. Clearly, he’s probably the favorite in the fans’ eyes, but that’s just because he’s been there this whole time. They’ve seen him up and down, and I’m coming in as a newcomer, so he’s gives me someone to compete with. At the moment, they may want Takahashi, but I’m going to make them want The Villain Marty Scurll coming into this four-way.
I couldn’t think of a better match to go in there with three of the top contenders and just smash them completely out of the water and blow away anything those guys can do because there will be no doubt who the top guy in that division is. If I’m going to be part of the junior heavyweight division, I want to be at the very top of it. Just being champion isn’t enough for me because there’s been multi-time champions before me and I want to be the champion that does new things and takes this division to a whole new high and place it’s never been before. There’s a lot of pressure there, but I was born to be a wrestler and moments like this is what I was put on this Earth to do.
Do you consider this the biggest match of your career, being that it’s happening at Wrestle Kingdom 12?
Marty Scurll: Absolutely. Without a doubt.
You’ve had immediate success in Ring of Honor winning the Television Title from Ospreay and in New Japan winning the Junior Heavyweight Title from Ospreay, but what are some goals that might be off the fans’ radar?
Marty Scurll: Everyone says, “I want to be the Heavyweight Champion. I want to main event Wrestle Kingdom.” Those are clearly things that I want to do. I’d like to be champ. I’d like to main event Wrestle Kingdom, but if I’m going to be part of this company, I want to think much further than that. The Bucks said something about getting a downside guarantee of a million bucks a year. I want it to be that everyone gets ten millions bucks a year. I want us to tour the world, not just USA. I want us to do stadiums in the USA. I want us to do Wembley Stadium in the United Kingdom.
I want this stuff to be the biggest in the world and the biggest it can be. I want New Japan to be so respected that the Queen is personally ringing me and asking if she can knight me to be the first ever wrestler knighted by the Queen. Those are the kinds of things I’m thinking of, not just, “I want to be the champion. I want to have a five-star wrestling match.” That’s stuff is nice, but there’s a much bigger picture and I believe I’m the man to help put this company at the forefront and take over not just the wrestling world, but the world in general.
Marty Scurll makes his first defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against former champions Will Ospreay, Hiromu Takahashi and KUSHIDA in a four-way match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4, 2018. Witness this match as well as the double main event of IWGP Heavyweight Champion “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada defends against Tetsuya Naito and in a NO DQ War, Alpha vs Omega IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega faces “The Alpha” Chris Jericho. Subscribe to New Japan World at www.njpwworld.com for less than $10 USD a month.