Jake Lee started thinking about leaving AJPW in early 2022, wants to experience wrestlers overseas

Originally published at Jake Lee started thinking about leaving AJPW in early 2022, wants to experience wrestlers overseas

Jake Lee discusses his decision to depart AJPW. 

At the end of December 2022, Jake Lee, TAJIRI and Izanagi will be gone from All Japan Pro Wrestling. Those departures were confirmed at a press conference that AJPW held on December 8th. 

Coming out of that presser, Tokyo Sports spoke to Jake to dive further into his thought process when it came to making his decision. 

Jake said he only has one shot at life and wants to take on new challenges. He first decided on leaving at the beginning of 2022. 

I only have one shot at this life, so I want to take on new challenges. To put it very simply, this is what I want to do.

I made up my mind at the beginning of this year. At the end of last year, I was injured (fractured nose and left medial orbital wall) and was sidelined for about three months, and I thought about how I could recover from that and show something more. At that time, I wanted to create a feeling of, this is the year to win, so I started thinking about it. I knew that if I didn’t do it with that kind of feeling, I wouldn’t be able to make any impact on the organization’s 50th anniversary, and I knew I would regret it.

Over the summer, Lee began having conversations with AJPW about what he was thinking regarding his future. They talked about things from there and it was only recently that he officially made the decision to leave the company.

Around July. We talked about various things from there, and it was only recently that the decision was made official.

He is working on obtaining a passport so he can go abroad. Jake wants to experience the various types of wrestlers outside of Japan. He stated that he would be interested in competing in a jiu-jitsu match as well. 

Because I want to see and experience what kind of wrestlers are there [abroad]. This kind of work is not usually possible. So I want to experience things that are unique to this job. Also, if I go abroad, I would like to participate in jiu-jitsu matches. There are a lot of guys my size overseas. I wouldn’t mind getting beat up there. Anyway, I would like to be able to try out for that kind of competition. There are many other foreign countries besides the U.S.

On December 25th, Jake will have his final match with All Japan. He expressed that he does not want to do anything special and just wants to make sure the audience enjoys the event.