In a new interview with NJPW, former IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada reflects on his time wrestling in the United States for TNA, and shares his experience when working in Mexico. Highlights are below.
On his attempt to learn the language in Mexico:
I can just about muddle through. I tried to study, but when I actually got over there, there wasn’t much time for anything but wrestling. Plus, I knew a few Japanese wrestlers in the area, too. What I would actually do to study was walk around the neighborhood with a dictionary on me, and listen to the people on the street, then try and look up what they said.
On having a rough time wrestling in America during his TNA run:
Oh, man, America was rough. I didn’t have anyone to talk to. And I had computer problems. I had one old one, and one I bought special to take to America, and they both broke, within about a month of me arriving in the States. It was hell. I didn’t know anybody nearby. The other wrestlers would only be around if they had matches. Every day I would be going to the gym by myself, going shopping by myself, and then going home, and that was it. Right. I’d be going to the gym and just working out in silence and then coming home, putting the TV on and having no clue what anybody was saying. I’d be so bored sometimes I’d talk to myself in the mirror.