Kota Ibushi recently sat down with njpw1972.com to discuss his G1 Climax victory back on August 12th. He covered a range of topics including the ankle injuries he suffered on the first night of the tournament. Ibushi also clarified what he meant with his closing promo, stating that the context was somewhat misunderstood.
In the wake of his victory, Ibushi used phrases such as ‘I won’t run away,’ ‘I won’t give up,’ and ‘I won’t repeat the same mistakes.’ Extrapolating on his meaning, Ibushi said:
“Hmm. I’ve been asked the same question; that I’d been saying ‘I won’t run away’, so was there a time when I was running away from things? But it’s like this. If you go all the way back to your childhood, everyone has at least one moment where they feel they’ve let themselves down, right?”
He continued, “Go all the way back through life, and there was a time when everybody has messed up, or run away from an issue, or quit something. So what I was saying was in response to all of that. That was the idea at least.”
Ibushi suffered an unfortunate injury during his opening match against KENTA. Not only would he hurt his ankle, but he also lost that match. This physical setback was something he called “the toughest mental hurdle” he’s ever had to overcome. Despite the pain, Ibushi struggled on with the tournament.
“Obviously there was a lot of pain, but pain in itself is no big deal,” Ibushi said. “Not being able to move, that’s what really sucks, mentally. […] It was really tough. Honestly, I was pretty proud of myself for making it [to the airport] in that state. I proved to myself how much I’d grown.”
“This Is Pretty Much The Biggest Thing To Ever Happen To Me”
In the end, Ibushi would emerge victorious from the gruelling tournament, defeating Bullet Club leader Jay White in the finals. When it’s brought up how he’s never been in the spotlight the way he currently is, Ibushi agreed that this might be the first time he’s ever been in such a high position within NJPW.
“Last year it looked like I could do it, but didn’t. Yeah, this might be the first time I’ve been in this position. I’ve won Best of the Super Juniors in the past, but that was a different thing, really. This is pretty much the biggest thing to ever happen to me.”