New IMPACT world champion Eddie Edwards spoke with Sports Illustrated to discuss his time in IMPACT, his training in Japan, and what he hopes to achieve as the company’s top act. Highlights are below.
Training at the Pro Wrestling NOAH dojo in Japan:
The building was in Ariake, just outside of Tokyo. I admired the guys that went over to train in Japan, like Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero, and I always had a love for Japanese wrestling. I wanted to model my career in the same way. I’d heard how hard the training was, but I wanted to go for it.
The difficulty training in Japan:
I was like, ‘F—, I don’t know if I can do this. My neck was killing and my abs were cramping up. And that’s before even going in the ring. But it changed me as a human being. They taught me so much about respect for the business and the veterans that came before us. That’s something I still carry with me.
What he hopes to achieve as IMPACT champion:
I want to carry the company and take us to the next level. I know what being a champion is all about, I know what it entails. I want to be the guy the company and everyone in the back can rely on.
Whether he’ll be working with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson:
Let’s wait and see. They have a lot on their plate, and I’m focused on the belt. We’ll see where it goes.
Believing in what IMPACT does:
I’ve stayed with Impact for a reason. I believe in what we do, I believe in the locker room. I’ve never felt more confident in myself or my company. We’re going to keep coming at you. I want to help this company succeed. There is a lot of momentum, and I’m going to do everything I can to ride with it and create some special moments along the way.