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William Regal On Missing His Wife’s Pregnancy In 1996, Asking NJPW For Time Off, Missing His Family’s Life

December 14, 2022 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
William Regal AEW Full Gear Image Credit: Lee South/AEW

On what turned out to be his final episode of the Gentleman Villain podcast, William Regal discussed his regrets surrounding not putting his family first during his WCW run, and the scenario that shifted his mindset to always putting family first.

These comments are certainly interesting in hindsight, given the recent news of Regal exiting AEW to go back to WWE in part to work with his son in NXT. Read on for the highlights:

On being with his wife for 37 years: “She’s put up with me and I love her to death.”

On his wife being pregnant at the time he was away in 1996: “I’d got into [NJPW World Tag League]. Looking back, I was a bit selfish. Because I always put the job first, and that’s nothing to be proud of. It was just the way I was taught; “the job comes first.” I shouldn’t have left her. For a few weeks, I went to England. I shouldn’t’ve left her to go to Japan, or to England, or Germany. I shoulda stayed at home.”

On his pregnant wife falling ill while he was in Japan: “When I was in the Tag League in New Japan, in the Autumn of ’96. I started off that with Dave [Taylor]. We did okay at the beginning of it, and then I get a call that my wife isn’t well. And for the first time, it really hit me. Family comes first. I’m not proud of that. I’d always put me job first. So I came home to look after my wife. To make sure she’s okay.”

On asking for time off for the first time: “I cut short the tour. New Japan wasn’t happy with that, but they understood. That’s not a proud moment for me. I wouldn’t ask for time off for my family. Believe me, it’s like sticking a knife in my stomach, me having to go to the people in New Japan and saying “My wife is not well. I’m worried about her. I need to go home.

On the mindset that the “job comes first”: “This is 1996. I’m 27, 28. I’m still of that mindset that the job comes first. From day one in this job, that’s how I was taught. It’s not a great way to be, really. Your family is the most important thing. You always thought that if you didn’t do your job, you wouldn’t have a job. That was just the way it was bred into you. Whether it be AEW, whether it be WWE, whoever. Nowadays, they understand and they give you time off for your family which is a wonderful thing.”

On So many wrestlers missing out on their families’ lives: “There’s a lot of us, from my age group and older, that have missed out on so many birthdays, and so many anniversaries, and so many different major historical parts of our lives because of the wrestling. Wrestling will go on without you.”

If you use any of the above quotations, please credit Gentleman Villain h/t 411mania for the transcription.

article topics :

William Regal, Jonathan Hunter