Kota Ibushi recently spoke with the NJPW Press to hype next week’s WrestleKingdom 15 pay per view, where Ibushi will be challenging Tetsuya Naito on night one for the IWGP I.C. and Heavyweight championships. Highlights are below.
How he’s really solidified his in-ring style:
I think the last two or three years have seen my style really solidify, and that’s a good thing in many respects, but if you stop doing something it very quickly falls out of practice and leads to you not being able to do it again. But I will say, whether it goes for moves, or as a general rule in life, once something’s thrown away, I never pick it up again. Same goes with something I might give someone, or lending something; I’ve always lent people things feeling in my heart that they’ll never come back.
Say she will draw on his technique from his junior-heavyweight days:
I think here that I need to draw on the old Kota Ibushi. I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to bring more of the junior heavyweight style I had and merge it with this heavyweight Ibushi. I’ve even thought about those days playing around with wrestling moves on the beach as a kid! I called some old friends from middle school lately, even.
On his relationship with Tetsuya Naito:
I don’t really know why things turned out the way they did, but… Naito often says that he hates me as a human being, but he loves the wrestler Kota Ibushi, right? I think deep down, he likes me as a human being as well.
Says if he’s not having fun in a match the fans most likely aren’t either:
I think the thing with me is, I always give all I have in the now to each match, but I also feel quite strongly that if I’m not having fun, then the fans won’t have fun either. That match was all about enjoying being in the ring as much as possible. I think if anything, that’s been missing a little with me lately, not having fun so much as.
How Naito brings out the best in him:
This year we never really crossed paths, with us both being in different G1 blocks and everything. It’s been long enough that I wonder whether I can enjoy it as much as our other matches, but I do know that if I can, then that’s the key to me winning. If I don’t get that feeling of fun, then I know I’ve already lost. That’s the key to this match.
On their matchup from Osaka Jo-Hall that was deemed “dangerous:”
Look, we did some pretty scary stuff, but the people saying what they did were taking us lightly, I think. Naito felt the same way, but that was a match that only the two of us could pull of together. I wouldn’t wrestle that way with a different opponent, and I don’t think he would either.