For 19+ years, Lance Archer has been a successful singles star and tag team wrestler. It wasn't until the latter half of his career, however, when he started getting some recognition. The current IWGP United States Champion may have gotten into the position he is in today based on circumstance, but also, as a result of his hard work.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Archer discussed his current run in New Japan Pro Wrestling. When he started with the company in 2011, he formed the Killer Elite Squad with Davey Boy Smith, Jr. Between Pro Wrestling NOAH and NJPW, the two became four-time Tag Team Champions. This past June, Smith left NJPW, leaving Archer in limbo. Archer doesn't see that as a bad thing, however, and he turned that into an opportunity. Earning six points in the G1 Climax, Archer impressed with his overall skills.
"I mean, the G1 has to be the biggest turning point," Archer stated. "This business changes on a dime daily. You have your ups and downs, goods and bads. Luckily, I have been a part of New Japan Pro Wrestling for eight years and it's been a great run with a lot of cool things and amazing experiences. When K.E.S [Killer Elite Squad] ended I didn't know exactly what was going to happen as far as a single's wrestler with New Japan and with G1 the opportunity came about and I took every chance.
"I just keep saying opportunity, but the opportunity to change myself in every aspect that I could to advance myself and then the company got behind me. I didn't even know what was going to happen and then the G1 and all the night through it kind of exploded like, holy crap, what the hell is going on? Even with myself, that was a kind of experience. The time and opportunity came about with the opportunity with Jon Moxley not being able to make it out to Japan and then changing the match to a title match between Juice Robinson and me and then ultimately capturing the U.S Title. It has been a whirlwind and a cool one. I've worked really had to get to this point so now it's time to work even harder."
Regarding Moxley and the IWGP United States Championship, Archer was put into a tough situation. Due to Typhoon Hagibis, Moxley was unable to make it to Japan to defend his title against Juice Robinson. He was then stripped of the title. Stepping in, Archer won the bout and the then-vacant belt. The 24 hours he had could only be described as a wild series of events.
"I didn't see it coming either," Archer went on to say. "I was flying into a typhoon and didn't know what was going on when I got to Japan. Like everybody, we all had some crazy travel issues and I literally landed at 2 pm on the day of the show and the show started at 5 pm. I didn't find out anything until I got there as far as the match and all of that that was concerned."
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.