Former IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada recently spoke with NJPW to discuss all things pro-wrestling. Topics include how he named his devastating finisher (The Rainmaker), what he thinks about the NJPW tag division, and whether he would team with superstar Will Ospreay. Highlights are below.
His interest in the NJPW tag division:
I’ve gotta say, ever since Tanahashi and Ibushi won the tag belts, that division is looking a lot more appealing. The prospect of guys that I’ve fought so hard with in singles being tag champions, that’s intriguing. And wrestling the two of them together, that’s something different to singles matches we’ve had before. I know I only just lost my title to Naito, but if it’s a question of wrestling for the tag titles or a double IWGP championship match, the tag titles are more interesting to me.
Naming The Rainmaker:
It’s been talked about quite a lot and you can find out about some of that stuff yourself if you’re good at digging around online. But to make a long story short, it’s this American phrase connected to people that can come into a company and instantly make a ton of money for them, and I thought it would be a cool fit for me in NJPW. So it became my nickname. And then to make sure it was used and that brand of mine got strengthened, I made it the name of my finish, too. As for the move itself, you see that wrist clutch and extension quite a lot in lucha libre; I can’t remember the match, but I remember seeing it in America and thinking it looked cool. And I always thought something leading to a lariat would be a cool finish, so one was added to the other. Well, it just came down to thinking which would have more impact. Unleashing everything through a lariat like that is more powerful, I thought. Then again, if it were the other way round; if I used the lariat first time out, then the neckbreaker did more damage, then the Rainmaker would be very different today.
Whether he’d team with Will Ospreay:
No. Ospreay is a phenomenal wrestler, but I’ve always teamed with YOSHI-HASHI, and I’d like to keep that going.