KENTA pushes Tanahashi’s buttons before IWGP US title match
With their IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship no disqualification match nine days away, KENTA and Hiroshi Tanahashi exchanged words at the Wrestle Kingdom press conference.
Challenger Tanahashi was first to talk on a match that will be well out of his comfort zone on January 5. The Ace remarked:
‘I’ll be the challenger this time against KENTA. There might have been conditions on my challenge, but I’m still grateful to KENTA for accepting. This time, it’s a no DQ match. Anything goes. But that becomes a choice. To wrestle without anything illegal, and try and win fair and square, or to survive in a wild environment with everything those no DQ rules allows. So plan A, that’s to do a lifetime’s worth of cheating in one match. Plan B, that gets a little longer. Take the belt back, let COVID get better and then travel the world with this title and show everyone the model of a real champion! I’ll fight with all I have to be champion January 5!’
Responding, and speaking last at the end of a long conference, KENTA stated: ‘This is going forever! You’ve kept me waiting all this time. Everyone here is passing out, right? Nobody’s left watching, right? I feel it in the air’. KENTA then switched to English saying ‘I’m going to win this match. I’ve said many times that I deserve this title more than anybody. I have to be US Champion for this company. When the pandemic is over, I’m going to have matches in the US and around the world, so I have to be IWGP United States Champion. This is my mission.’
Back in Japanese, KENTA continued ‘No as far as Dome goes, this no DQ match, I’m not thinking of this as some kind of fancy gimmick. This is going to get dangerous. This is going to be a rough night for Tanahashi fans. On the other hand, the BULLET CLUB fans are going to have a great time, so get hyped.’
With some snide comments about Tanahashi’s signature on the title match contract, the match was officially signed.