Who’s ready for a hug?

When not embracing his Best Friends, four-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Trent Beretta can be seen inside AEW’s squared circle breaking apart his enemies, whether it be with his superior technical skills or his hard-hitting blows. Of course, when all the hugging and fighting is over, it’s not unusual for Beretta to be picked up by his mom, Sue, and taken home to be bandaged up for his next war.

Beretta and the Best Friends — Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander — have been fan favorites virtually everywhere they have been. Their popularity in AEW have led to several title matches, including a recent bout against Death Triangle for the AEW World Trios Championships, which became vacant after The Elite was stripped of them following the reported post-event incident at AEW All Out.

In this exclusive interview, Wrestling Inc. Senior News Editor Nick Hausman speaks with Beretta about his big AEW All-Atlantic Championship match against Pac tonight on Battle For The Belts 4, his decision to leave NJPW for AEW, fans dwelling on backstage AEW drama, and more!

Also, Trent would like us to ask you to rescue a dog if you can. They need homes!

First Shot At Singles AEW Gold

Trent, thank you so much taking the time to chat with me here today.

Hey, thanks for having me man, man. Can people see me right now? Is this just audio? Is this video?

We’re probably just going to use the audio to do transcriptions, but in the off chance something ridiculous happens to you out in the wild, we’ll have video of that.

If I get hit by a car or something out here, I’m walking the streets, for anyone who’s listening.

Okay, fair enough. Well, hey, Trent, this is a big match here Friday night, Battle of the Belts 4. First of all, how are you feeling going into it? I did a little research, I believe this might be the first time you’ve had an AEW singles title match. Is that the case as far as you know?

Yeah, I had one, the Ring of Honor World title match with Samoa Joe. That was in AEW. But for an AEW singles title, this is the first time.

That’s wild, man. So why do you think that is that you haven’t bid at any of the singles title competition up until this point?

I mean, I’m in a tag team officially, but of course I’d like to do more singles stuff in the future, and I’m really looking forward to this one with PAC. PAC’s unreal. And also, I’ve dealt with this ankle injury. I sprained my ankle so bad right before Forbidden Door, and I haven’t been able to jump or really run normally. You probably don’t notice because I’ve only got to run three steps across the ring. But I’m finally, after however many months it’s been, four months, three months, I can finally jump and run. So I’m looking forward to being able to move and doing it with PAC.

And so when you were first approached by AEW, was the talk of you coming in as a singles wrestler, or were you always viewed as going to be in some kind of tag picture when you came into the company?

It was definitely a tag picture to start, with maybe some single stuff planned down the line.

Can you talk a little bit about how ingrained you were, I guess at New Japan before you came to AEW? Because I had heard before you signed with AEW that with Kenny leaving, you were at a great spot to be put in a really prominent position with that company. I don’t know if that’s true or if you can comment on that at all.

I don’t know if that’s true either. I don’t know. I don’t what their plans are … I heard the same thing, but then I mostly saw it online.

So this was more something you think that came up online, but nobody ever knew Japan was … Because I don’t know how hard New Japan, I guess, was trying to keep you, I guess is what I’m trying to get around and ask right now.

There was never anything like, "If you stay here, you’re going to be in the main event all the time." Nobody said that or anything like that. But I guess it was maybe alluded to that, "Yeah, you want to do single stuff instead of tag, you could do that," but that’s it. There was no real details.

Fair enough. It just seemed like a better deal, I guess, to sign with AEW, go be with your friends and make some money over here. Is that all it came down to?

Yeah, the schedule’s easier. All my friends are working here, and money is of course a thing.

Possibly Holding AEW Gold

Let’s say you win this All-Atlantic Championship. PAC has of course gone over across the Atlantic, had a couple defenses now. Of course, New Japan would be across the Pacific. But how would you like to defend this title? What would you like to do with this belt if you were to become the champion here, Trent?

I don’t know, man. I mean, I’ll be a great fighting champ and really do it. I don’t know, wrestle whoever wants to wrestle me and try to have great matches. Same thing as always, but it’d be nice to do it defending the belt.

And would you like to take Best Friends over to New Japan or elsewhere across the seas to kind of do some work over there?

Definitely. I mean, I really miss Japan. I loved working there. I loved everything about it pretty much. So to go back, it would be great. Hopefully it happens soon.

Do you get the vibe that AEW will be heading over to Japan or that anything’s going to happen there where you guys are going to start to travel a little more internationally?

I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything about an official AEW show in Japan or anything like that.

You’re going to be taking on PAC in this All-Atlantic title match, but now PAC’S got another match before this bout. He’s going to be putting the trios titles on the line against the Dark Order here. How do you feel about PAC getting to wrestle a match before you guys are going to even step in the ring together? Do you think that’s good, bad? How do you feel about it?

Did they say anything about when? Is it back to back? Did they say anything like that? Or is it just he does one early on "Rampage," and then we’re way later?

I think it’s one earlier on "Rampage," and then you guys are later. Because if I’m not mistaken, and again, AEW PR is listing, they’re more than welcome to correct me, but I think it’ll be "Rampage" first, then I believe Battle of the Belts will be live afterwards.

Yes, no, I know that part. I was just wondering, does he get a break, or is he going back to back matches? I don’t know.

Oh, that’s a good point.

Either way, I mean, definitely makes it interesting … He’s going to look real cool for doing two matches. He’s going to look like a total badass. And it puts a tarnish on if I beat a guy who’s already hurt, but f*** him, I guess.

Trying To Keep The Focus In The Ring

How do you feel about the fact Pac is wrestling twice because Andrade’s "Rampage" match got pulled because him and Sammy, they went into this, it sounds like, I mean it was an online spat, and then it seems like it’s spilled over backstage. And that’s what led to PAC having to wrestle twice here in one night with that match getting pulled.

I guess it ends up being a good thing for me because PAC’s going to be weakened. That’s all the info I’m going to give you. I didn’t see the fight or anything like that. I think it’s lame that guys are fighting backstage. I’m not about it. That’s it.

Yeah, I guess that’s the thing, man. How do you feel right now, about the fact that people are so much more focused, I feel like, on the backstage goings on in AEW than some of the in-ring stuff. How does that affect you seeing all this stuff playing out right now?

I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think the people that are paying attention to the backstage stuff are the big inside fans who are already paying attention to that stuff. And the average person watching on TV, they have no idea what’s going on.

For sure. And I mean, at least in the wake of All Out, do you feel like more opportunity has come up for you? I mean I do think it’s interesting that you are getting into the singles title picture now with some players off the board at the moment.

Yeah, maybe. It could be why. I’d hope that I’d be considered a contender with guys even if guys aren’t missing.

Best Friends Vs. Lava

Of course, one of the big things about Best Friends recently, you were not a part of it, but I did get to watch "Floor Is Lava" season three here. And your buddies, Best Friends, came up a little short. How did you feel about how Best Friends represented the group over on the Netflix series?

So that first season of the show, I watched the whole thing. I didn’t put it on in the background or anything. I watched the show, paid close attention, and I really wanted to do it. The whole time I was watching, I was like, "Damn, it’d be so cool for you to get on the show." And we happen to know somebody whose sister worked with Netflix, or, I’m not sure the details, but I was so looking forward to it. Then it actually does happen, and my neck was broken at the time, so I couldn’t do it. And I’m actually so crushed that I wasn’t able to do it that I haven’t watched yet. And I will. But yeah, I really want to do that show, man. That’s the big headline out of this. I wanted to do the show.

I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t know if it looks like a lot of fun because I don’t know, whatever that red stuff is, it looks kind of disgusting. I don’t know if I’d want to fall on that. But I mean, to each his own. I’m sorry you missed out on that opportunity, man.

I think I made it sound more serious to me than it actually is, but it would’ve been fun for sure.

And that’s the thing too, man. You’ve got this bigger platform now with AEW. Do you like getting to branch out a little bit? We’ve seen a lot of actors … or a lot of wrestlers go into acting and stuff. Do you get interested in doing those side projects outside of wrestling?

Yeah, if anything came up, I would definitely be open to doing it. Yeah, sure, I’ll do anything. Wrestling’s, I’m pretty sure, always going to be my main thing. I don’t have secret dreams of becoming John Cena or The Rock or anything like that. I just want to wrestle before my body breaks.

Let’s Talk About Sue

How did you convince your mom, Sue, to get involved in wrestling, and how is she handling her cult fame?

It wasn’t hard to convince her at all. I mean, I just said, "Mom, do you want to do this?" And she got all excited, so that was super easy. She’s handling it like a mom would, I guess. She’ll check her Twitter too much and stuff like that and tell me about people said and gets a little too into it. But I mean, she’s great. And hopefully we have her back for something soon.

Yeah, because that’s the thing, is a lot of fans really seem to want to see Sue on TV. How would you feel about putting Sue on a pole, some kind of Sue On A Pole match, shades of late era WCW? Would you be open to it, or no?

Of course I would be. Yeah. Why wouldn’t I? I’m trying to remember the Judy Bagwell On A Pole. She was standing on top of the pole in a little cage. Is that what it was?

If my memory serves correctly, I think they put her up on a forklift. I could be wrong. I think it was a platform on a forklift over the corner. Again, it’s been a minute since I watched the bout, but I think in my head that’s what was going on there.

I got to watch it. Yeah. Sue On A Pole, I’m in.

Anybody in particular you think that would be best suited for you or Best Friends to take on? I mean, obviously Proud and Powerful, you guys had some throwdowns with, but they’re not around right now.

No, I mean it’d have to be somebody who did something horrific to my … Wait. I guess, why is she on the pole? She’d be on the pole because she thought about joining the bad guy group and that’s like, we got to fight for her. Depends on why she’s on the pole. I don’t really understand why a person would be on a pole in a match. So maybe the opponent isn’t that important. It’s more about the spectacle of a mom on a pole.

Do you think Sue would bump if asked? Have you given her any training? Have you done anything like that?

No, I never taught her how to bump or anything. I think she would take a mom bump, a manager-looking bump. I’d love to see how that comes out, what the bump looks like.

Very Nice, Very Evil Best Friend

Is Danhausen actually a best friend, or does he just kind of follow y’all around?

I don’t know. I’d say follow around. He’s not a best friend, but he’s a friend of the Best Friends.

A friend of the Best Friends … Not quite a mascot. A friend of the Best Friends.

Yeah.

Do you think that Tony Khan will ever give Danhausen the money to get the blimp that he wants?

I hope so, because I’d like to ride in the blimp too. Who even makes blimps? Blimps aren’t cool anymore.

Oh, I disagree. Everything retro’s cool again. Blimps were big in the late ’80s, early ’90s. They’re coming back around.

All right. I got to look up the inside of blimps, not the balloon part, the inside, where the people hang out. What’s it look like in there?

Well, there’s that great scene in Indiana Jones where he rides in his zeppelin, and I think it’s kind of like the same thing.

All right. I don’t remember it. I only saw it once. Sorry, man.

Are you having fun with having Danhausen around? Are you surprised that he … I mean, this guy was a very different wrestler maybe just three years ago, to see how quickly he’s picked up and taken off. What’s it been like for you to have him around and work with Danhausen?

Man, I think he’s great. And he’s so funny on the fly. As soon as he’s Danhausen, whatever he says is funny, and it’s always entertaining. So it’s just fun to work with because no matter what he says, it’s always good.

Reflections Of A Dudebuster

Now a lot of people may not remember, but you briefly did have a run at WWE, your DudeBuster, infamously, Caylen Croft. Right? What was it like working for Vince from 2007 to 2013?

I never worked directly with Vince. I shook his hand in the hallway and it was … I was such a baby when I was there. I was so young. I moved to FCW when I was 20 and debuted on TV at 22. But I think I wasn’t ready to be there. So I mean, overall it was a good experience, though. Nothing bad happened to me or anything.

It doesn’t sound like you’re bitter towards WWE, I guess, over your experience there.

No, no, not at all. I would’ve fired me too. I probably wouldn’t have hired me at 20.

No?

No. It takes way more time. Well, some people can do it. Some guys come out of football or whatever, and they’re 21 years old, and it suddenly just wrestling fully clicks with them. But for most guys it takes 10 years to figure out what you’re really doing.

And for you to have gone to WWE and learn that much, then you go to New Japan. Dude, you do this world travel, and now you’re here back on a big prominent North American stage, and you’re getting to embrace all of that knowledge at once. You’re one of those people that’s deceptively good, and I hate to just blow smoke up your ass like that, Trent, but you make it look so easy. And I mean that for you and Chuck and Orange as well … But you make it look easy, Trent. And how much fun is it for you right now to know that you have all of that kind of knowledge and that kind of comfortability right now and you’re getting a chance to just do what you can and have fun with it right now?

I wouldn’t say … It’s never really comfortability, because it’s always … You’re trying to do the best you can possibly do every single time you’re in the ring. So it’s never comfortable. It’s always a challenge, but having the experience helps and makes it easier and makes it more fun. But it’s always a challenge.

Would you ever consider moving into a producer/agent role when your time in the ring is done and kind of handing on that knowledge? Or do you have other plans, I guess when you finish up in the ring?

I think it’s hard to say, but I think I’d like to do something like that. But coach, train people somewhere, or do producer stuff. Because I wouldn’t want to leave the wrestling family and the boys. I don’t want to just go home and never see them again. So I’d like to stay involved in wrestling.

NJPW And AEW Tag Divisions

Given that you were present during what many would call the peak of tag team wrestling in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, how would you assess the current state of tag team wrestling in AEW? What is the company excelling at and where do you see room for improvement?

Ooh, that’s so hard to answer. Yeah. Was that the peak of tag team wrestling, the junior division in New Japan? … I feel like there was only four or five teams. But that was a really cool era if you look back. And it was so many guys, Sydal, Ricochet, Bobby, Kyle, Young Bucks, me and Rocky, Rocky and Koslov before I came around, Shelley and Kushida. So I guess that is pretty good. That’s a good time to be there.

I was waiting for you to fill in the blanks for everybody there. And yeah, it was a laundry list of names at the time.

Yeah. But, okay, so part one was compare that to the AEW tag division?

Knowing that you’ve been around that kind of quality tag division, how do you feel about the AEW tag division? What do you think is great, and what do you think they can do better?

I’d say the AEW tag division is stronger, probably. I’m trying to think. We got more teams and there’s so many … The roster is so stacked in every division. It’s nuts. How do you improve the tag division? I have no idea. I just do wrestling.