WWE star Shayna Baszler was recently a guest on the Table Talk podcast, where she spoke about the influence Minoru Suzuki had on her.
"I started wrestling and I did some time wrestling in Japan. I did the indie thing that everyone does and went to Japan and lived and wrestled there for a while and all that and just because of the nature of my training and my coaches, I really paid attention a lot to the Japanese wrestling scene. That was, I don’t know, that’s just the way I came up, and so, Minoru Suzuki is one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, still today and he comes out with a towel over his head like Taz, like a hood and I remember thinking like, ‘Oh man, I wanna do something that’s kind of like him but not exactly like him so I’m gonna put the towel around me. I’m not gonna put it on my head’ and then I was like, ‘Aw man, the sleeper, that’s like I can get to the back in submission wrestling, shoot wrestling. I know all these tricky ways. That’s gonna be great. That’ll be a great finisher for me."
She also spoke about approaching Samoa Joe to let him know that she didn't copy his persona.
"I remember I signed [with WWE] and I was like, ‘Am I Samoa Joe? Like did I just become –’ he wears the towel, like what? So I went and told him this story and I was like, ‘I want you to know –’ so I was in NXT for a while but I came up to Raw, that was like one of the first things I did was go up to him and go, ‘I did not intentionally copy everything that you did, but I’m sorry? I don’t know’ and Joe’s cool. He was like, ‘Ah. Don’t worry about it’ but, it was funny."