Kota Ibushi Says Wrestling Is Entering A New Era

In an interview with NJPW’s official website, Kota Ibushi spoke about the future of pro wrestling and his belief that we are entering a new era for the business. Here are highlights:

On wrestling entering a new era: “I think its more a case of a new era for pro wrestling at large, including me. Wrestling has really changed this year. I think its in the middle of a big change right now. What Tanahashi led, that wasnt just him, but everybody around him expressing themselves. This era now; winning the G1 put me in the position where I was able to declare it as a thing. Ive felt for a while that were entering a new era, but it wasnt until I won the G1 that I was in a position to say as such.”

On wanting to broaden pro wrestling: “Yeah. That feeling, wanting to broaden pro wrestling, that hasnt changed. And wrestling in the street, that was one experience, one experiment. I wrestled in the street. It broadened pro wrestling by, oh, this much. OK, onto the next thing. Thats one way of expressing yourself through pro wrestling. But now I think Im, like, five levels beyond that. It makes that goal of broadening wrestling easier. Even people who dont know anything about wrestling will listen to that message more coming from a G1 winner. If youre no big name, it doesnt matter whether what youre saying or doing is any good, people will just ignore you. It just ends at What the hell is that geek talking about? But when youre the G1 winner, then people look at you differently and listen to you more closely. If Im the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I can spread my vision of wrestling even further. And if I were to win the Heavyweight, then the Intercontinental in two back to back days, in the Tokyo Dome. Thats legendary.”

On wrestling KENTA: “The ankle injury was what it was, and I couldnt put as much into the match as I wanted to. But up to that point, he was exactly as Id imagined. Still a hard hitter.”

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