The IWGP champion seeks to make it rain on the G1 field!  With G1 Climax 27, Kazuchika Okada speaks out  on the tournament as he starts a campaign for his third successive Wrestle Kingdom main event…. Part1



The IWGP champion seeks to make it rain on the G1 field! With G1 Climax 27, Kazuchika Okada speaks out on the tournament as he starts a campaign for his third successive Wrestle Kingdom main event…. Part1

— So, the G1 is right around the corner. First of all, your thoughts on the A and B blocks this year?

Okada ‘I think the first thing that comes to mind is it’s the tougher block by far. The other thing is there’s not many people in there I haven’t faced before. It’s EVIL, Juice and that’s about it.’

— Well, looking at the first B block show, on July 20 in Korakuen, you’re facing your CHAOS team mate in Toru Yano. What are your thoughts when it comes to facing Yano right away?

Okada ‘Well… I think it’s a matter of my G1 really starting in the next match.’

–Oh, so Yano doesn’t really count?

Okada (laughs) ‘Well, that’s not to say that Yano is an easy opponent. But he isn’t the type to beat you up. I don’t think I’ll be going into the next match carrying an injury.’

— You have different things to worry about with him, so to speak?

Okada ‘Right. And he’s absolutely not someone I’m keen on facing, he’s my teammate. But it’s not something the fans usually get to see, and I think we’re going to have some fun.’

— Absolutely. I think we have a clear image of the kind of match it’ll be already.

Okada ‘And I don’t think that’s a bad thing, especially. I think if you look at the B block and had to pick out the antagonist, the bad guy, he’s the one that stands out. He’s someone you can’t take your eye off- the type to cheat, cheat quickly, and try and end things fast.’

–Are you the type to get beaten quickly like that?

Okada ‘Well, if I’m going to be beaten by anything, it might be that, yeah! (laughs)’

–Next in Korakuen, Michael Elgin. You really haven’t had many matches with Elgin, except for in the G1, and in an ROH 3 way last year.

Okada ‘Hmm, yeah, the G1 was two years ago, he was my first opponent, making his debut.’

–You won that match, and the Japanese audience was just getting to know Elgin.

Okada ‘Yeah, I think there was some feeling out there, I really wasn’t familiar with his style at all, but as the match went on, the fans got more and more into it.’

–The more that match went on, the more you realized, “ah, this guy’s great!”. You really brought out the best in him. It was the origin of where Elgin is now.

Okada ‘Well, I think for him, it was his first New Japan singles match, so he was nervous, and I don’t think I quite got as much out of that match as I’d like. Now, Elgin’s already popular, so I think that’ll make for a much more interesting match.’

–His power is something to be reckoned with.

Okada ‘Of everybody in New Japan, his power is unmatched. I’d say he’s stronger than Bad Luck Fale, even.’

–So you’d say he’s the opponent you’re the most wary of?

Okada ‘I wouldn’t say that…(laughs)’

— There’s a nice symmetry to that match in that one year ago Elgin had this rivalry with Omega that you’re having now, and that combined experience should make for an interesting combination.

Okada ‘Well, the difference there is that Omega and I were in IWGP Heavyweight title matches, and I’m the champion. So with me, it’s guaranteed to be a great match, but beating me is a very different proposition.’

–In Fukushima you face SANADA. You had matches against him last year in the G1 and at Wrestling Dontaku. SANADA is the same age as you, and when he came to New Japan there was the real sense that your next big rival had arrived. You’ve beaten him twice in succession, are you a little dissatisfied with how things have gone?

Okada ‘I think a lot’s up to him. It’s not enough to just win a match, you need to find a kind of X factor.’

–Is that some advice for him?

Okada ‘Well, it’s for my benefit, too. I want interesting opponents, and the better the people opposite me the better things are. I’m not really interested in easy matches.’

— This doesn’t just go for SANADA, but do you find yourself taking particular notice of wrestlers the same age as you?

Okada ‘Not really. The thing that springs to mind about SANADA is he’s got a great look, really.’

— On July 27 in Nagaoka, Satoshi Kojima. Since becoming champion you really have faced such a variety of opponents in different stages of their careers. This is Yuji Nagata’s last G1, and with that in mind, what’s it like wrestling the third generation stars?

Okada ‘It’s boring. Dead boring.’

–What’s boring about it?

Okada ‘Well, is there anybody who really thinks a third generation guy in there with today’s guys can win? They’re still active, but it’s really just like them being in some veteran’s reunion card every night. Honestly, they just aren’t G1 caliber.’

— That’s quite harsh.

Okada ‘To be honest, me personally? I want there to be stricter requirements to get into the G1 in the first place.’

— But I think as soon as Kojima hears what you just said, he’ll be fired up.

Okada ‘Hm. He gets fired up when he wants to.’

— Nagaoka is always full of passionate fans.

Okada ‘Absolutely. I’m really looking forward to being there and getting to have a group match there.’

–On July 30, Juice Robinson in his debut G1.

Okada ‘Yes! I’m really excited to wrestle Juice. I might actually be most looking forward to that match.’

— You’re much more excited for that match than Kojima.

Okada ‘It’s completely different, yeah. Juice is the future, and it’s rare for me to face people younger than me in the G1. He’s got a lot of ability. I’m really looking forward to facing him.’

— He’s challenged for the Intercontinental title this year and faced Cody as well. Have you been keeping up with what he’s been doing?

Okada ‘Ah, to be honest, I’ve not seen him all that closely, but I do feel he’s the future, and I think the fans feel that, too.’

— You see potential in him? Have high expectations?

Okada ‘Right. This match could be the start of something for the future, or could be one and done, but I definitely want to lock up and find out.’

—continued in Part2.  Check back soon