First post Cup win comments from Cold Skull
SANADA delivered his first comments to the public since his New Japan Cup win on March 21 with a press conference in Tokyo the next day. With a cool confidence, SANADA entered the presser, though his alacrity would be let down by seasonal allergies.
‘I am your 2023 New Jacan Pu- New Jacupan- New Japan Cup winner, SANADA. Right now, the younger wrestlers are on the rise, but my time is far from done. I plan to head into Sakura Genesis with the utmost sense of urgency, and take the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Sorry I sound stuffy, I have allergies.’
–After your cup win, Kazuchika Okada had some very harsh words for you, and suggested you only changed your appearance rather than doing anything that could beat him. How do you react to those comments?
SANADA: We haven’t touched since I changed factions, so there’s no way of knowing, right? We haven’t touched since, so maybe he might think that the only thing different about me is the way I look, but the truth is that every single move I make has a stronger spirit behind it, and I’d like for him to feel that in our match.
–This will be your first full tour as part of Just Five Guys, and on April 3 you will be teaming with Taichi to face the Dream Tag Team of Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Thoughts on that match?
SANADA: I haven’t ever teamed with Taichi-bro. We haven’t talked about being a team together, haven’t come up with moves, nothing like that. But I think there’s something fun about coming in with a blank slate.
–What do you think of Okada and Tanahashi as a team?
SANADA: It’s a bit of a let-down that they lost to Goto and YOSHI-HASHI. That takes a little bloom of the rose (sniffs) but I’m excited for that match all the same.
–This is your first challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship as opposed to the IWGP Heavyweight title. do you have any thoughts about the championship in particular?
SANADA: It’s the symbol that represents the top of the pro-wrestling industry. If I can take that title, then I’ll be on top of this business, in my opinion. On top looking down, if that makes sense.
–Do you have any thoughts on the World title as opposed to the Heavyweight belt before it? Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi have held this belt since it was created…
SANADA: I don’t really care who’s won it before. The point is that it’s the symbol of this company, and the symbol of the whole business.
–There’s been a lot of talk from Just Five Guys about the ‘landscape’ of professional wrestling. Can you talk more about what that means to you?
SANADA: To me it’s about destroying the status quo. I think that no-one but me… Or only me… How shall I put this? I’m the only one who can win that title and have people go ‘oh things have really changed round here’. Anyone else, and it’s something within those realms of possibility, but…
–The act of you winning the title would completely change the scene.
SANADA: You can’t picture it, right? That’s exactly what we need. With a big unexpected shift, popularity will follow, I think.
–Your final thoughts on Sakura Genesis April 8?
SANADA: On April 8 in Ryogoku, I plan to become the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, and truly, genuinely change the landscape of professional wrestling.