New Japan Pro Wrestling sensation and current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada recently sat down with Rolling Stone Magazine to conduct an interview. They spoke about his rise in NJPW, rumors about him making the jump to WWE, the upcoming retirement match against Tenryu, and a lot more. The full interview can be found at this link and is worth checking out, but here are some excerpts.
Rolling Stone: A month ago, at the end of the G1 Climax Tournament, it was announced that you would face Tenryu in his retirement match. What does it mean to you to face him?
Okada: Tenryu is a legend in Japan. However, it will be just another match. I don’t know him well, so he’s just another wrestler to me.
RS: Speaking of the G1 Climax tournament, obviously it’s huge in Japan, but it seems more and more people are paying attention to it in America, too. Why do you think that is?
O: It’s the biggest tournament in the world. Nobody else runs a tournament like it. Nobody has 20 of the best wrestlers competing in so many different matches. There is nothing like it in the world. My dream is to bring a G1 Tournament to the United States. I want to do a G1 in front of American crowds.
RS: How do the wrestlers in ROH compare to the wrestlers in New Japan?
O: They are at the same level. I wanted to wrestle against new people, but it’s very similar to wrestling in Japan. I really appreciate ROH for letting me wrestle in the United States. American fans get to see me, and get to see New Japan. Ring of Honor lets us do that. I love working in front of American crowds. When I do the pose (throws arms wide), the crowd does it with me. I love that. The crowds don’t do that in Japan. They respond a lot more in America.
RS: Since you like working in front of American crowds, could you see yourself leaving Japan and working in America, whether it’s for ROH, WWE, or someone else?
O: I like doing shows with Ring of Honor, but I don’t want to leave Japan. I’m not interested in WWE at all. Many people ask me about WWE, and if I”d go to WWE in the future. They ask me if I’m going now. I will not go. I want to make New Japan Pro Wrestling bigger. That’s my future.