■ KUSHIDA’s final match will be his first singles match with Hiroshi Tanahashi!
On the main event of the Road to THE NEW BEGINNING event on January 29th, Hiroshi Tanahashi will face KUSHIDA in their first showdown in a special singles match.
KUSHIDA, who announced that he will be retiring from NJPW following the expiration of his contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling on the press conference on January 7th, has decided that this will be his last NJPW match.
KUSHIDA was asked by a reporter in the assembled press if there was something that he wished he got to do in NJPW and who was the person he respected most. He answered “If there is only one senior wrestler who I regret not being able to fight, that I look up to, it has to be Mr. Tanahashi.”
After making the decision to transfer from “SMASH,” the promotion with which KUSHIDA was previously contracted, to NJPW in 2011, Tanahashi visited Korakuen Hall on March 31st, 2011 when KUSHIDA wrestled his final match with them. KUSHIDA recalled that he felt he made a ‘deep connection’ with Tanahashi at that time.
Since that point, Tanahashi rose-up to become the Ace of the Heavyweight division, whilst KUSHIDA himself rose-up to become the Ace of the Junior Heavyweight division. They even found themselves sitting next to each other on the tour busses between shows. However, he never got to experience wrestling against other members of the “main unit” faction
When questioned at his retirement press conference on January 7th, Tanahashi joined the reporters in asking KUSHIDA a question and, to his surprise, KUSHIDA found that he could not hold back his tears.
When he was the Junior Heavyweight champion, KUSHIDA asked Tanahashi if he would consider giving him the honor of fighting him in the ring should he ever regain his position as the IWGP Heavyweight champion. This match will be one that KUSHIDA has waited a long time to finally happen.
What kind of message do you expect Tanahashi to give KUSHIDA in his final match?
On the same night, the 6th match will be a 10-man tag match between Testuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi vs Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado.
On Sunday, February 3rd, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship will be on the line as Naito wrestles against Taichi. We will also see the IWGP Tag Championship match between EVIL & SANADA vs. Suzuki & Zack, as well as BUSHI & Takagi vs. Kanemaru & Desperado for the IWGP Junior Tag Championship . The tour also features what is sure to be a brutal 6-man special 6-man tag match the next day and an elimination match the previous night.