Contract signing makes main event official
Before Dontaku hits the sold out Fukuoka International Center on May 3, a public contract signing would see the main event made official, Hiromu Takahashi and SANADA exchanging final thoughts before the gathered public.
Watch Dontaku LIVE in English on NJPW World!
Hiromu would be first to make his comments as challenger, proudly brandishing his front cover shot of Weekly Pro-Wrestling, and stating that the public presser being in a mall in Fukuoka allowed non fans to get a taste of NJPW.
‘Since there are non fans here as well, I’ll start with a self introduction. I am the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Hiromu Takahashi. Please, call me Hiromu-chan. And here is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion SANADA, and the man we all can call god, Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi.
There are two weight classes in NJPW. One for those over 100kgs and one for under 100kgs. I am in the latter group, and tomorrow I will challenge for SANADA’s heavyweight title. Is that allowed? Yes in pro-wrestling that can happen, and that’s one of the exciting things about it. Since I was a middle school kid I’ve had a dream of being a junior heavyweight champion and winning the heavyweight title. I’ve always thought that would have people excited, and when I was a fan I would always be so hyped to see a junior heavyweight beat a heavyweight. Even now I feel that excitement, and maybe it’s that excitement that made me want to be a wrestler in the first place.
Tomorrow I make my dream come true. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi will beat the World Heavyweight Champion SANADA. SANADA-san, I look forward to it.’
SANADA sleekly dressed in a sharp suit and shades, responded, ‘I am the 7th IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Everyone calls me SANA-bro, so feel free, and let’s get on point so it doesn’t make the chanting confusing.
Before the Dontaku tour we both were overseas, and then didn’t take a break before the touring started. Hiromu had a title match as well, so there’s no way he’s not tired. First of all, there is no way that I am losing to anyone in his position. I think Hiromu’s story is incredible, but it’s a lock that I’ll be winning, so his story will be just that. As a champion, it doesn’t matter whether my opponent is a heavyweight or not, I’m always ready to fight. And Hiromu- I’m looking forward to it, too.’
Questions from the press would follow:
-A question for SANADA. You’ve been on the last tour as the main event player and the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. How have you assessed Hiromu Takahashi through the tour up to now?
SANADA: First of all, I might have won the championship, but I think I’m still not quite at the point where I can call myself a true champion just yet. That comes step by step, with results and actions. As for Hiromu, he’s the junior heavyweight with the most momentum, and I think he really is the best junior heavyweight wrestler int he world, so I’m honoured to face him.
-Hiromu, SANADA guessed you must be tired from the match you had with Kanemaru…
Hiromu: It’s only natural people might think Hiromu-chan is feeling tired. Only natural SANADA might think that, the fans might think that. But I’m feeling great. Fit as a fiddle. You’d think I’d be worn out, that I’m still feeling a lot of the effects from my title match, but I’m feeling great. Is that true, or am I lying? That’s for SANADA to decide.
-What do you think to SANADA saying it’s a lock he’ll beat you tomorrow?
Hiromu: Fine, it’s fine. If he didn’t come in with that level of confidence, I’d be disappointed. But I feel the same. I don’t plan on losing, and I can’t imagine a scenario where I will. That’s why I’m so hyped. My IWGP belt has what, 30, 35 years of history? Chairman? About 35? Or 36, since 1987. You won’t answer? I get that you don’t want to be dragged into one of my bits. OK, let’s say 35. And nobody has won the heavyweight title while they were junior heavyweight champion. If I do that, that’s incredible. Hiromu is looking to do something that nobody’s ever done before. All of you here are going to see something out of the ordinary tomorrow. Even a junior challenging is rare enough. Doing it would be incredible. That’s my incredible dream, and that’s what I’ll make happen.
-You challenged for heavyweight gold against EVIL in 2020- what do you think it will take for you to make history?
Hiromu: That’s a very difficult question. Very difficult. If I knew the answer, perhaps I would already have won. I’m not sure I have the answer myself. But the thing is, I’m not tall, not an incredible natural athlete, bnot someone who can out power you. There’s no one area where I beat everyone in the stats. But I don’t give up. I’ve had this dream this whole time, and you can’t beat me on that. My stubbornness, my will, SANADA can’t beat that.
-You were on the same side as part of LIJ for so long. Now you have been in opposite corners, what’s your take on SANADA as a wrestler?
Hiromu: I said this before, but when he was in LIJ we never really talked. I might throw the ball of a conversation and he’s never return it. Even if I tried to engage him, it would be a little chuckle and that was it. We were never really tight, but we were able to communicate without talking, tag well without that communication. Now he’s in Just Five Guys, he seems to be talking a lot more, but I still don’t think I get him. I don’t know what he’s thinking, how much he can be trusted, what’s going on in that noggin. I just don’t know.
Like earlier, he was talking here for like three minutes, but if I had to sum it up it would be ‘don’t know’, like that. And as for him as a wrestler, it’s been one tour, but what I feel is that he’s SANADA, but now he’s the champion. SANADA, but now he has a title belt. I think that’s who’s coming tomorrow, and that’s someone who doesn’t have a chance against me.
-SANADA, is there anythign that you’ve realised about Hiromu during this tour?
SANADA: We were on the same team for about five or six years, but talked maybe a total of five or six minutes. But I respect his willpower, and I think that’s why he’s the champion that he is. The problem is, I’m not here to help you live your dreams. I’m here to make you taste reality.’
Hiromu reaffirmed that LIJ would be around ringside to support him tomorrow, and asked for the fans’ support to boot as the contract was signed.
Originally posted at Read More