The Golden Star seeks G1 Glory!  Kota Ibushi shares his thoughts on the G1 Climax 27 lineup!



The Golden Star seeks G1 Glory! Kota Ibushi shares his thoughts on the G1 Climax 27 lineup!

— Tetsuya Naito is quite the historical rival of yours, and on the time you’ve been away, he’s really broken through.

Ibushi ‘In the last year and a half, really, while I’ve not been here, he’s been phenomenal.’

— To look at things a little differently, what do you think his standing was before you left?

Ibushi ‘I think we both thought we were above the other. He was thinking “don’t look down on me” while doing the same.’

— You were both looking down on each other. 

Ibushi ‘Well, you’re always especially aware of people who are your age. But I think now we run in very different circles.’

— When you left, Naito called you a part timer. He said that you only showed up for big shows, and that he didn’t feel anything about you leaving.

Ibushi ‘Hmmm. Well, in a real sense, he’s right. But by the same token, I’ve been able to do things he could never, ever do. So it’s more a matter of “OK, so what?”’

— When you left, it was very much in the nascent stages of Los Ingobernables de Japon.

Ibushi ‘Yes. It had started, but wasn’t nearly as strong then.’

— What are your thoughts on LIJ?

Ibushi ‘Honestly, I think they’re pretty damn cool. And by the same token, I’m jealous. I would have liked to have done something like that myself.’

— Interesting. Do you think you and Naito have similar philosophies when it comes to wrestling?

Ibushi ‘I think we do, yeah. I think partly it’s that we’re the same age, but we’ve seen similar things, come up at similar times, and have a lot of similarities when it comes to wrestling.’

— You have a positive win:loss record against Naito.

Ibushi ‘I think I’m 2:1. But this match is maybe the most important we’ve had.’

— Start of the tournament, your comeback, and against a rival of yours..

Ibushi ‘There’s a lot at stake.’

— And there’s a real chance to dictate the pace of your campaign in the first night.

Ibushi ‘Right. So obviously you give it all in every match, but this is the one that looms largest in the sights.’

— And it’s a real chance to show who Kota Ibushi has become.

Ibushi ‘Yes. As I said before, Naito and I run in different circles now. So I think he’s a perfect opponent for my comeback match.’

— Then on July 21 in Korakuen, you’re facing Zack Sabre Junior. Now, you were both in the final four of WWE’s Cruiserweight tournament- have you wrestled him before?

Ibushi ‘Not once, no.’

— He’s a tremendous grappler.

Ibushi ‘He’s completely different to me, and that’s exciting. I don’t know what’s going to happen.’

— Do you have anything in mind to counteract his holds?

Ibushi ‘I can’t compete with him on the mat, so I have to bring everything that I do have. But where we’re similar is in mindset and heart. Zack is a guy who likes a fight, has that fighting spirit, and I think that should gel quite well with me.’

–On July 23 in Machida, someone you haven’t faced in a while- Tomohiro Ishii.

Ibushi ‘It’s been about three years. When we faced each other in the past, they’ve been excellent matches. I think this time it’ll be a different thing entirely.’

— The fans have a clear idea of both of your styles and the kinds of matches you have.

Ibushi ‘For sure, but I think this time it’ll be a different beast.’

— Next, in Sendai, a man you unsuccessfully challenged for the NEVER title in Togi Makabe.

Ibushi ‘I definitely want revenge for that. But I have a lot of respect for Makabe. A lot like the respect I have for Tanahashi. He’s a guy that’s gone out and worked hard in the entertainment field. To do that alongside his matches, with no days off, he’s got such a tremendous work ethic. I really respect that.’

— You’ve made quite a few TV appearances yourself; it’s a hard working field, right?

Ibushi ‘Right, and for him to be on TV as much as he is and not miss a match, not miss time in the gym, I can’t wrap my head around that. The respect I have, plus wanting revenge.. I’m really looking forward to this match.’

— On July 29 in Aichi, Bad Luck Fale.

Ibushi ‘He’s incredibly powerful. But I have confidence in my own strength, my own power.’

— You have a very athletic build, but your strength is well documented. 

Ibushi ‘You might think I’m crazy for saying this, but I kind of want to get into a battle of strength with him. I want to see just how strong I am in a way.’

— You aren’t worried about his weight?

Ibushi ‘He is the biggest guy I’ve ever faced. We’ve only fought the once, the year before last.’

— And you’re not concerned he’ll overpower you?

Ibushi ‘Well, I actually think I match up quite well with strong guys. I like going move for move, and I like to just go at each other with strikes. I’m looking forward to Fale.’

—continued in Part2.  Check back soon