Liger’s legendary career and global efforts to be recognised. 「UPDATE March 17 2020 09:56 JST: This article has been updated to reflect the cancellation of WWE’s Hall of Fame ceremony
WWE announced today that Jyushin Thunder Liger would be inducted into their Hall of Fame class of 2020. Liger becomes the third Japanese wrestler, after Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami, to receive this honour.
Liger, who wrestled his last match on January 5 in the Tokyo Dome, wrestled one match in WWE’s NXT brand in 2015 as part of a global legacy that also included extensive activity in WCW through the 1990s. This recognition from WWE gives Liger yet another accomplishment at the end of a glittering career.
Jyushin Thunder Liger’s comments:
Wow! This was really a huge surprise. There are tons of better wrestlers to give this honour to than me. After Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami were the first two into the Hall of Fame, for me to be number three is just a huge shock.
That’s not fake humility, I’m not putting up a front. It’s honestly how I feel. I spent my whole career just having fun. I always loved pro-wrestling, and just did what I loved all these years. The thought process was just ‘this sounds like fun, let’s do it’. And then a lot of people were willing to co-operate with me to make things happen. So in that sense, it really feels strange I should be the one to be honoured here.
I know a big ceremony is planned, and as of right now, I’m planning to go. I’m looking forward to seeing KUSHIDA, Shinsuke, and a lot of the foreign wrestlers I know, as well as some of the legends that’ll be there too.
It really is moving to be given such a grand award. I’m quite nervous! I definitely want to live up to the Hall of Fame name, and the reputation that the wrestler Jyushin Thunder Liger had. I’ll definitely be on my best behaviour!
The only other thing is the speech. How are we going to do this? Does it have to be in English? Can I do it in Japanese? Apparently Fujinami wrote a speech, got it translated into English and then practiced it a million times. My kid speaks good English, I might put him to work so I can do the speech in English. Ah, worst comes to it I’ll just do it in Japanese!
Update: WWE has announced that the Hall of Fame ceremony scheduled for April 2 will not take place as planned.