New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) legend Jyushin Thunder Liger is counting down the days to his retirement. Liger will officially retire next January, with his last match taking place in the Tokyo Dome for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom event.
In an interview with njpw1972.com, Liger sat down with long-time friend Togi Makabe to discuss his career. During their conversation, the two discussed Liger’s retirement and the surprise the announcement caused in the NJPW locker room.
Makabe revealed that when he first found out that Liger was retiring, his first thought was “Is he serious?” followed by “Is the company serious?”
He continued, “So when I first heard I was thinking ‘what are you talking about?’. Like maybe he’s thinking about taking a bit of a break and then going internationally, or making a next step, all of that’s stuff only he knows for sure. But I was just like ‘hold on a second!’”
Liger then confessed that despite their friendship, he didn’t speak to anybody about his plans to retire until after he announced it. He claimed he didn’t even confer with his family, stating that the decision was his choice.
“I don’t think it’s right for a wrestler to talk with his colleagues about retirement, you know? I didn’t even tell my family until after I’d made up my mind to retire. […] It just felt like the right time to put a full stop on things.”
He explained how he’d rather leave with fans asking “‘Why is he quitting now? He can still go!’” as opposed to laughing at “old man Liger.” Liger added that leaving this wa is the more dignified decision and that he never intends to go back on his retirement.