But Tama Tonga, The Firing Squad’s self-proclaimed Bad Boy, just crossed over with another hot topic - that of when playing a heel goes too far. New Japan announced they’ll be punishing Tama Tonga for some unspecified recent conduct:
“NJPW takes actions taken by our wrestlers seriously. In light of recent inappropriate conduct by Tama Tonga including SNS usage, the company has decided to take disciplinary actions against said wrestlers, and will issue updated guidelines to all wrestlers.”
That Twitter usage (“SNS” being “social networking system”) alluded to likely has more to do with the Air Force veteran’s since deleted tweets criticizing profile pics than The Big Dog. Especially the one saying it’s too bad one depicting fallen soldiers didn’t include the fan he was beefing with. Tonga also may have gotten carried away with a New Japan audience member during a G1 Climax show this weekend...
In addition to leaving the wrestling community making comparisons to the Sam Adonis/RevPro incident, this also has inspired some “work or shoot?” discussions. Our own NJPW expert Rev. Claire thinks it’s unlikely Tama’s choking target was planted or that Japanese fan culture would lead to a formal complaint, so what’s depicted in the above GIF may have little or nothing to do with whatever sanction Tonga ends up getting.
Updated Twitter guidelines for talent sounds like a good idea either way, though.