Henare was able to get through the 30-minute match.
The KOPW Championship was on the line during New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Road to Sakura Genesis tour. In an ‘Ultimate Triad’ match, Aaron Henare challenged Shingo Takagi for the title and the match went 38 minutes.
While Henare was on The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast, he revealed that the entire week before the match and during it, he was dealing with bronchitis, which is an infection of the main airways of the lungs, causing them to become irritated and inflamed. The day after, Henare had to get an inhaler just to breathe.
The whole week before that, I had bronchitis and I was struggling to breathe. But I couldn’t pull out of the match, because it was the first championship match I’ve ever had so I couldn’t say, oh, can we schedule for another night? No, no, no, no. So that was 40 minutes, 38 minutes with bronchitis and the next morning, so I haven’t said this, I shouldn’t really say this but I went to the doctor the next morning and had to get an inhaler just to be able to breathe.
Watch my mouth opening (in that match), breathing. Those parts were literally me just trying to stay alive, you know?
Henare is a member of the United Empire faction. He stated that getting to join the group was a ‘career saver’.
It was a career saver to be honest (joining United Empire). After that (Hiroshi) Tanahashi tag team, the match opportunities sort of fell off so I didn’t really get anything after that and then Will (Ospreay) called me to a secret dinner at one of these Portuguese restaurants. He came to me and he was the one who said, ‘I know you can be a star. You just need to work on some things and I can teach you that stuff’ and I didn’t realize how much of a genius that guy was in the ring and in the business because everybody on Twitter, they like to bag him and think he’s dumb but that guy ain’t dumb. You don’t become the best in the world by being dumb, you don’t get a truckload of money being dumb. He knows what he’s doing and another proof that he’s not dumb is putting together the best team in the world. The most active team and we’re the only team that are active in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, America, Japan, every single major wrestling territory, United Empire’s at the top of each of it. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. He’s called ‘kingpin’ for a reason. But yeah, it was a real career changer.
Henare is scheduled for the upcoming Road to Wrestling Dontaku tour which kicks off April 20th in Nara, Japan.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.