Jonah (fka Bronson Reed) has hit the ground running now that he is legally allowed to wrestle.
In a period with an unprecedented amount of free agents in wrestling, and so few promotions to support them coming out of the pandemic, competition is fierce. Still, Jonah has emerged as one of the busiest wrestlers across all of independent wrestling. Jonah, also known as Jonah Rock, was named as the first entrant of PWG’s prestigious Battle of Los Angeles tournament in early 2022. He also recently made his debut in IMPACT wrestling, and on Thursday, December 9, Jonah will face off with David Finlay at NJPW Strong’s Nemesis taping.
“I think it’s going to be a helluva match,” said Jonah in an exclusive interview.
“[David Finlay]’s somebody I’ve wanted to get in the ring with. I was lucky enough to work with his dad at WWE as a coach. And if he’s anything like his father, it’s going to be very hard-hitting. I think those sort of matches are what people want to see when people get in there and really bang with each other. That’s what New Japan is known for, so I wanna make sure that this is also another statement match. David Finlay is one not to play with, but I’m still going to get in there, get the job done and remain as a top dog.”
Jonah looks to emerge as the top dog in one of the most respected tournaments on the independent wrestling scene. Jonah joins the likes of indie luminaries WALTER, Keith Lee and PCO as the first entrant announced for the Battle of Los Angeles.
“It feels really good [to be named as the first entrant]. When I first got released from WWE there was a few things that I wanted to do. New Japan was on top of that list, and returning to PWG was definitely one of them as well. I’ve been in contact with them, and we wanted to make it something special and we thought Battle of Los Angeles is probably the best place to do it and what a better way than to be announced as the No. 1 entrant.”
Set to compete in his third Battle of Los Angeles, the former underdog relishes his role as one of the favorites after having to prove himself in his previous two outings. Gone are the days where Jonah has to worry about carrying the weight of Australia on his shoulders. Once a trailblazer for Australian wrestling, the name “Jonah Rock” has become a genre unto itself.
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“I feel like I don’t feel as much pressure to be honest,” said Jonah.
“I feel like people will place me as one of the odds-on-favorites, but it’s a different feeling. When I first did Battle of Los Angeles was my debut for PWG. I had never been there before, so it was a lot of pressure. I felt like I was representing Australia as well at the time. I also wanted to do well enough that Australian wrestling was seen and then from that it did open doors for guys like Adam Brooks, Robbie Eagles to actually come to PWG. So, this time around, it’s moreso beating up that new talent and showing them who’s boss.”
While some of his contemporaries enjoy an extended vacation from wrestling, with some apparently quitting the business altogether, Jonah has dove in headfirst in a quest to prove he is among the best that the industry has to offer. In what is already setting up to be a promising run, Jonah’s end game is to prove he is the “best super heavyweight in the world.” There is competition, however, in terms of talented big man, some of whom Jonah admittedly admires.
“I’m a big fan of Keith Lee,” said Jonah.
“Me and Keith Lee have been in the ring before, and I hope it’s something that actually gets to happen again now. Given the circumstances, we never actually got to tie it up in a WWE ring, so that’s something I’d like to see. I’m also a big fan, obviously with New Japan Strong, Hikuleo. I think he’s somebody people should be watching. When I first saw him wrestle—which was a couple of years ago—to what he is now, he’s just growing leaps and bounds. I think in another year’s time, he going to excel even more.”
Jonah is an avid film buff who has even considered becoming a director. Fellow standout wrestler Darby Allin uses his own film background to showcase vignettes on AEW television that set him apart from his peers. As a film enthusiast, Jonah is a fan of Allin’s genre-bending scenes.
“I’ve seen a few of his that he’s done, and I love that sort of stuff,” Jonah said of Darby Allin’s vignettes in AEW.
“Anytime you can mesh worlds within wrestling I think is when it’s sort of the best. I would always tell people that I helped coach back in Australia, or younger guys in NXT, not to take from other wrestling. If you see something out there and you take from that, that’s cool. But if you can watch a movie, and there’s something in a movie you’ve seen done in a movie that you haven’t seen done on a wrestling screen, that’s the best sort of stuff to take from and explore because then the wrestling world hasn’t seen it before.”
“There’s so many things that can be done, shot-wise, to make a promo different,” Jonah continued.
“My only real judgment of my last few years with NXT is that I’d show up and every promo was filmed exactly the same way, exactly the same set behind you. Nothing felt inventive, and when you had that chance to maybe do something a little bit different, it was only few and far between. I think they did a good job with Karrion Kross and Scarlett, sort of having different stuff there, but everyone else is sort of in that same world. If you can make the characters in wrestling seem like they come from different worlds, and then they meet in the ring, I think that’s something that could be special.”
Jonah will take on David Finlay on Thursday, December 9 at NJPW Strong’s Nemesis in Los Angeles, Calif. For ticket information, click here.