SANADA suggests rule change to October 9 title bout
A special press conference in Tokyo on September 19 saw EVIL and SANADA confront one another in advance of their IWGP World Heavyweight Championship meeting on October 9 in Ryogoku.
EVIL would appear at the conference still in possessions of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt, but his actual position as challenger had him asked for comment first.
‘My comment? Look SANADA lost to me in the G1, something the company was so embarrassed by they had him vacate the title and present it to me. I’m the champion, not the challenger. The challenger should comment first. Well, whatever he says it’ll probably be a bunch of bitching and excuses. Whatever. That’s all I have to say.’
SANADA, in stark contrast to the furious champion who brawled with EVIL this past weekend in Fukuoka, was composed throughout EVIL’s rant before making a proposal.
‘This might not be fitting of an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match, but I would like to propose lumberjacks for our title match. He stole the title from me and there’s been nothing but interference in all our matches. He was once my best tag team partner, and I always felt it a goal of mine that we should go one on one for the world title. I want this to be a fair fight, so let’s make it a Lumberjack Match.’
EVIL replied that he would ‘think about,’ SANADA’s decision before promising that he would ‘clean up the mess of Just Five Guys,’ before leaving still with his ill-gotten world title belt. That left SANADA alone to field questions from the press.
In his answers to questions about potentially main eventing the Tokyo Dome should he get past EVIL, as well as facing his former partner in Ryogoku, a pensive SANADA stated that ‘Ryogoku was where I first appeared in NJPW, and where I first became (world) Champion, before reiterating that EVIL was at one point the tag partner he felt ‘most in sync with in my career’. SANADA pointed out that during his public tryout back in 2005, he failed to make the NJPW Dojo cut, and only Tetsuya Naito passed, adding a layer of poetry to a potential January 4 bout with SANADA as champion and Naito the challenger.
Pressed about his Lumberjack proposal, SANADA stated that ‘whatever happens (HOUSE OF TOTRTURE) are sure to get involved anyway, so why not have them at ringside from the start, and Just Five Guys out there too?’ As he remained unflappable about his championship situation, stating only that it was ‘unfortunate I haven’t been able to show the people in the towns and overseas myself with the title belt,’ SANADA was most telling in his closing line- that ‘EVIL is a big thinker, and I’ll have to outthink him if I want to win.’