Tama Tonga And Ross Berman On Linking Up For ‘Tama’s Island’, Getting A New Perspective From Fans
Tama Tonga‘s latest venture sees him hitting the airwaves and it’s quickly becoming a rewarding collaboration with fans and his behind the scenes team.
Tama Tonga and co-host Ross Berman recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about their new podcast called Tama’s Island, now in its fourth week. The two were linked up by Nick Hausman and Tama’s business partner, and Tama says one thing led to another but the cancellation of the Bullet Club Beach Party due to the coronavirus was really what led to creating this new brand for fans.
When the refund process started, he says people offered to donate what they paid for tickets instead of asking for their money back, and the idea started with one chat session that ultimately led to working on a full-fledged brand.
“A lot of fans, they donated. They didn’t want their money back. They donated that money to us and I was just so grateful for it. I hit some of them up and said ‘join me for a Zoom session’. There was probably 20 of us and we just talked,” Tama said. “There’s nothing else going on because everyone is locked up in their house. The following weekend we did the same thing and it just rolled into that. Because of all the questions they were asking I said I can cover all of this in a podcast and tell stories, and we’ll go from there.”
Tama says the name of the show came from him calling his home his ‘island’ while he was posting home workout tips, relating quarantine to feeling like he’s alone on an island. He says they have a podcast and happy hour now, with plans to roll out more in the future, and Berman added that there’s a lot more in the works and called it a very interactive brand.
Tama’s the expert and I’m Wikipedia.
Berman’s work has been featured regularly on WrestleZone.com and ProWrestling.com in recent years, and he credits that role for helping him stay up to date on everything going on in the world of New Japan. He considers himself a resource for the podcast, an aficionado of sorts, and both agreed that he adds a different level of expertise to help add a more statistical element to the show while Tama focuses on the storytelling.
Tama says he likes getting an outside perspective from Berman since some things do get lost in translation with cultural differences in Japan, and added that getting to know each other through the show has been a very rewarding part of this process.
“Ross gives me an insight on what the mood of the fans is over here. It’s already difficult for me to hear from the fans in Japan, they’ve got their online blogs but it’s all in Japanese and I can’t ready any of it. I’m just going by what the wrestlers talk about. Now with [Tama’s Island], I get the inside scoop of the fans, the mood, what the feeling is. It’s a nice insight, it helps us a lot.”
Fans can sign up to be a Tama’s Island Patreon supporter at this link; you’ll gain exclusive and commercial-free access to the audio and video versions of the show, a weekly interactive Happy Hour live stream each Friday and much more.
Sign up before June 1st to get early access to their new BIG interview; Tama teased who it was during our conversation by calling the mystery man “one of the greatest brothers” and someone unlike anyone he’s ever met.