NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING

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Hoken Minaoshi Honpo Presents DOMINION 6.11 in OSAKA-JO HALL

SUN. JUNE. 11. 2017 | BELL 4:00 PM

Osaka

Osaka-Jo Hall

3-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

9TH MATCH 60 MINUTES LIMIT
IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
65TH CHAMPION
CHALLENGER

VS

Match time: Time up

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MATCH MOVIE

WRESTLER COMMENT

-- A 60 minute draw. This wasn't the best result for you, but an unbelievable encounter. Reflecting on it now, what are your thoughts?

Okada:
‘It’s all too much. I never thought I'd have an opponent that took me to the 60 minute mark, let alone beyond that and not be beaten. He took me to my limits, past them. It was a real surprise.’

Gedo:
‘Superhuman.’

-- There were a lot of moments in that match where it could easily have been over. What kept you going?

Okada:
‘Foremost was this (title). We both wanted the belt, both wanted to be champion at the end of it all, and that match was the result. It wasn't about who was better, it was about who was going to give up the title and neither of us did.’

-- You said on the mic you were going to make it rain the world over. Where did that come from?

Okada:
‘It was a tie in the end, but I am still champion, it was a successful defence, and next is LA. There were people all over the world watching that match, that saw just how great New Japan Pro Wrestling is. Next time I defend the IWGP title it will be in America, so the time has come to make it rain worldwide.’

-- What do you think of Cody’s challenge?

Okada:
‘He's welcome to try. He and I have only shared a ring once so neither I nor the NJPW fans have a clear idea of how good he really is. It's clear he is very able, it's a fresh opponent for me, and he has an international name. So if the company decide to make it official, he's a good challenger for LA.’

-- You made it clear tonight that the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is indeed on a whole other level. As we head to LA, what kind of title match do you want to have there?

Okada:
‘I want to have a match that says “this is New Japan Pro Wrestling”. The American fans want that, and of course the Japanese fans will be watching on NJPW World. To Japanese fans maybe it's the same NJPW, but it has a different nuance to bring that to America. I want to show the level of an IWGP title match and have people say “come back to LA”. Or, “Come to New York”. Basically to have people all over the world wanting us to bring our product there. This is the first step toward that.’

-- This was your first 60 minute draw. How are you feeling, mentally and physically after all that time?

Okada:
‘Honestly not all that different to any other challenge, I'm sore, I'm weak, my hands feel numb. Obviously I took a lot of punishment, but as time went on, it became harder and harder to stand, I was spaghetti legged. It was my first 60 minute match, but it was hard fought all the way. And Kenny too- I can't honestly say “we drew at 60 but if we had 70 minutes I would have beaten him”. I just don't know. That's how tough Kenny was. I haven't felt that way about an opponent for a long time.’

-- What had changed about him since January 4?

Okada:
‘It has to be how he feels toward the belt. Back in January, he fell a step short. When the LA shows were decided, he had a different mindset, that he wanted to be a champion by then and take the belt to America. That, plus the disappointment from before really drove him to be as good as he was tonight.’

-- He had said that he came back to New Japan to beat you.

Okada:
‘I said after the Dome “that match was enough for now” between us, but then we went to a draw tonight. He's definitely someone I have to face again, no question. It can't end in another draw. I have to show everyone that Okada is better.’

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