Okada says he won’t be seen in another company for a ‘long period’.
Ahead of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 where he’ll be challenging Jay White for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, NJPW1972.com pushed out the written version of their conversation with Kazuchika Okada.
He was asked if he’s paid attention to the New Japan wrestlers that have been competing in other promotions. Okada has not kept an eye on it. He added that he won’t be wrestling for another company for a ‘long period’ and his primary focus is New Japan.
Not really, no [I haven’t been keeping an eye on other NJPW wrestlers in other promotions]. I think that NJPW is the gold standard, so I think what we want is for other wrestlers from outside to come here and see what it’s like to compete against the best. When you look down the line, NJPW wrestlers are being called to these other places, because we are the best, so we have to prove to the world that we are still number one by having the reverse happen. The only thing I will say is that you won’t see me go elsewhere for a long period — I’ll always be representing New Japan.
Wrestle Kingdom 17 is an Antonio Inoki memorial event. Okada does not plan on doing Inoki’s signature phrase, ‘1,2,3, Daa’ if he is to close the show. He feels that should be left to someone with more of a connection to Inoki.
I don’t plan on doing that [Inoki’s catchphrase if I win at Wrestle Kingdom 17]. I know it is the Inoki Memorial event, but it’s not my role to do that, and I think it should be left to someone else. My plan is to end things by promising to make it rain like usual.
I don’t think it should be me. If we do it, it should be something someone with more of a connection to Inoki should do. I think right at the start would be a good time to do it.
Both Okada and Jay White are scheduled for NJPW Battle in the Valley in San Jose, California in February. One of them are going into the event as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.