NJPW President Takami Obhari recently spoke with Proresu-TODAY about a wide range of pro-wrestling topics, which included Obhari discussing the introduction of the IWGP women’s championship, and how his surprise appearance on AEW Dynamite came to be earlier in the year to promote Forbidden Door. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says he wanted to introduce an IWGP Women’s championship prior to COVID:
I had the idea for the IWGP Women’s Championship even before COVID. But at that time, unlike what you just said, you can imagine the reaction of the audience. As I mentioned earlier, I had to fight against the prejudice of the public. I had to contend with these prejudices… I would be exposed to them many times over, and although it would be an interesting challenge, I decided that it was not yet time. And the fact that we are doing this means that the IWGP name is within reach for STARDOM fighters.
On his surprise appearance on AEW Dynamite to promote Forbidden Door:
First of all, I didn’t want anyone to know about it. We only wrote our names as guests in the waiting room. Everyone else had their real names written down. We were sneaking around when we entered the hotel. And the name of the waiting room at the venue was ‘Special Guest’, not ‘NJPW’. So I had to sneak off to the restroom, and I couldn’t go out in front of the audience. Tezuka was going there too, but I knew that an Asian in a suit would probably be recognized, so I agreed with Tezuka, the C.O.O. of N.J.o.A., that I would try to stay out of the audience’s way as much as possible. I would have liked to see the match unfold and the atmosphere of the audience live, but I watched it on a monitor inside. It was amazing. It was the biggest crowd I had seen in a long time. I think the venue held more than 10,000 people. Tony Khan went out first, and there were many unexpected things, but when he said, ‘New Japan Wrestling, Mr. Ohbari!’ Everyone stood up and applauded… I guess it was a surprise that the President of New Japan Pro Wrestling came to the event. I felt the greatness of New Japan Pro-Wrestling on my back. I was determined that there was no turning back now.