Sugiura receives a message from Shinjiro Otani.
This Saturday, Jake Lee’s next defense of the GHC Heavyweight Championship is taking place as he’ll be defending against Takashi Sugiura.
Going into the bout, NOAH uploaded a video to their YouTube channel which shows Sugiura watching a video message from Shinjiro Otani. Otani wished Sugiura the best in his upcoming title match and stated that he hopes he becomes champion.
In April of 2022, Otani and Sugiura went one-on-one for the Pro Wrestling ZERO1 promotion and their match came to an end when Sugiura gave Otani a German suplex into a turnbuckle pad that left him paralyzed from the neck down. The following is from Otani via NOAH’s website:
Otani: My name is Shinjiro Otani from Pro Wrestling ZERO1. Sugiura, please do your best in the GHC Heavyweight Title match! Now, the times call for Takashi Sugiura. I believe that with all my heart. I sincerely hope that Sugiura, who has experienced many happy and frustrating times, will become the champion. I believe that many people will get courage to live and strength to do their best from him as a champion. Age does not matter. Sugiura always tries his best in wrestling. I want him to become a champion for sure. And when I stand in front of you again, please be an even stronger and more powerful Takashi Sugiura. Please do your best!
He was happy to see the message from Otani and is glad Otani is going to watch the match.
Sugiura: I am very happy that you took the trouble to comment at this time… I am also very happy that Otani is watching my fight. I am very happy that Otani’s words gave me a warrior’s tremor, or perhaps I should say that they gave me a tremendous boost of courage.
I really appreciate your comment at this difficult time of treatment and rehabilitation. Thank you very much. I am sure Otani is watching this fight, so I am not ashamed to say that this is a fight I can never lose. I will definitely win the belt, and I will be waiting for Otani.
Back in April 2022 after the injury happened to Otani, Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Director shared that Sugiura received a great deal of backlash on social media.