January 5 title bouts get heated press conferences【WK15】

IWGP Junior Tag Team, NEVER Openweight Championship conferences see heated arguments. 


January 5 will see five title matches across its six main card bouts, with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team and NEVER Openweight Championships prominent among them. Competitors involved each had some potent points to make at the December 23 pre- Wrestle Kingdom press conference. 

Watch both nights of Wrestle Kingdom 21 LIVE and in English from the Tokyo Dome on NJPW World!

Or watch on the device of your choosing on FITE!

After successive pinfall victories in Korakuen Hall ‘Team One or Eight’ were granted a Tokyo Dome challenge. In a title match for his Tokyo Dome debut, Master Wato kept his words simple:

‘January 5 at the Tokyo Dome, I will make sure there’s a clear winner when we pin these Suzuki-Gun guys down for a three count. With the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championships as a foothold, I will continue my ascent to the top in NJPW’.

Ryusuke Taguchi was rather more talkative:

‘Sat here with these little partitions between us, it feels a bit like we’re sat at the counter at the ramen restaurant.  At any rate, we have wins over both members of the champion team, so that gives me a lot of confidence. We both beat Desperado during Best of the Super Jr., and we beat them at Korakuen Hall, which makes me even more confident. To be honest, I’ve run a lot of tactical simulations about what might happen in our match, and every single one has come out with us winning. 

 One thing though, I know Naito has talked about a certain legend who was upset at being asked about losing right before a big match. I’ve actually been doing a little Tarot reading in my spare time, lately, and every time I do, I’ve never gotten one card that said we were going to win. That seems a little bit spooky. Anyway, if me and Wato win, that’s a big step for us as a team, and if, if we were to lose, that’s a big step for me on the way to being a Tarot master. I could maybe start a business as a professional Tarot reader, there’s plenty of time. But the road to mastery is bumpy, and either one of us can afford to fall here or there. Either way, I think the fans will be curious about what is around the corner for the two of us, and this match is important when it comes to our fortunes together. I want to do all I can. Thank you’

El Desperado was next to comment:

‘I’ve never sat at the counter in a ramen restaurant like Taguchi said, so I have no idea what he’s talking about. But forget him. Wato, I’ll be honest, I hate your guts. That isn’t to do with you as a wrestler, or whether we clash styles, it’s to do with you having no emotion, no passion, no belief. you saying ‘C’mon, give us a shot’, like that makes you sound like a middle schooler trying to get to second base. You really want to do this? You really want it? Because I hate liars, I hate fakes, and I hate you.

So, let’s say you really do want this. Do you remember what you said yesterday, from inside the ring? Maybe you got caught up in the excitement a little and you don’t remember, but it pissed me off, so I do. You said ‘let’s do it now, right here’. That was a lie wasn’t it? Because if that was true, you’d be throwing away your Tokyo Dome match just to wrestle us right them in Korakuen, even though there were six of us there. You had no intention of facing us for the titles. 

You didn’t think about what you said, you just spoke, with no thought and no feeling, just said that like a moron. And if the people hear that, they get excited right? Like they might get to see a title match? You offered something you had no intention on delivering. I can’t expect an idiot to take responsibility for idiocy, so I won’t push this any further, but I’ll say this; I don’t know whether you are an idiot or not. That’s up to you. So think before you speak. 

And another thing. Saying things like ‘one step’ or a ‘foothold’. Don’t dare say that to us, the title holders, when you haven’t won s**t. That just makes me hate you more. Now as for 2021, I’m not good about bold claims for the future, and I don’t see why I should be the one making them, but I guess I see BoSJ, I see singles titles, and i see me and ‘Nobu defending these belts another three, four, five, six times. I certainly have no plans on losing to you idiots. But there are no other teams stepping up, so we’ll give you this huge chance, because that gives us the chance to be on the big stage ourselves.’


Kanemaru was next to speak with a.. painful exchange with Taguchi.

‘I have nothing to say about losing to these guys at Korakuen. More than that, Mr. Fortune Teller. Oi, Taguchi. What you did to me last night? I think one of them went missing somewhere.’

Taguchi: I’m in Korakuen tonight, I’ll have a look for you. If I find it, I’ll take it to the police. If anyone else finds it, any fans, please pass it to a member of staff. I’ll take full responsibility for returning it to you, properly disinfected of course.’

Shingo Takagi and Jeff Cobb will meet for the NEVER Openweight Championship on January 5, and had words of their own to exchange. 

Speaking first, the challenger stated: 

‘I’ve been asked time and again why I joined THE EMPIRE. Let me ask a question to you. What did being happy go lucky Jeff Cobb do for me and my career? Nothing. For two years I was stuck with a stinky midget that couldn’t carry my bags. I won that (NEVER) Championship at MSG, and on my first defense, I lost it, because I’m too nice. Friends take advantage and loved ones leave.

After the G1 I was in a dark place, because I had a great G1, but all people talked about was Shingo. All I had to get out of that dark place was a hatchet. I used that to get out of the hole and cut everyone off. I have tears in my eyes of frustration and anger. You have tears of sorrow, because you know January 5, your reign is over. Are you prepared to die for that championship?’

Shingo in response:

‘All of you EMPIRE guys talk too much. You need to keep it short and simple. Like this. First of all, after debuting here two years and three months ago, I’m very happy and proud to be having my first Tokyo Dome singles title match. As for me and this guy next to me, it’s complicated. Complex. I have a lot of issues with him. We’re about the same height, but he’s freakishly powerful. We happen to be the same age, too, but I have to say, he’s the number one monster of this generation. I don’t have a single good thought connected with him. I lost to him in LA, lost to him in G1, lost to him in World Tag League. Budokan and Korakuen, too! There’s nothing I can do about it but sit and fume. But! January 5, that changes. Your power moves won’t do anything against my spirit. The Rampage Dragon will run wild, and will keep this title.