New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kota Ibushi recently spoke to the New Japan English language site NJPW1972.com on a variety of topics including the G1 Climax tournament, his long awaited return to the company and his brutal Kamigoye! move, here are some of the highlights:
–OK, first let’s talk about you being back in a New Japan ring, and being such a focal part of the G1. It’s been a couple of weeks now, looking back, how was the G1 for you?
Ibushi: Ultimately I wrestled more in that one month than in the two years before. I was a little wary of that beforehand, doing two years worth of matches in such a short time, but it actually turned out OK.
–Before the G1 started, you mentioned that New Japan today is a different place from when you were last here. How do you feel about that now?
Ibushi: I think New Japan started, in about 2014, 2015 advancing to a new level. 2016 I wasn’t around, so coming back in 2017 it really feels like they’ve kicked into this higher gear… although a part of that is a little dangerous, a little frightening.
–You said about the 2015 G1 that the only word that sprang to mind was ‘tough’. How did this year compare?
Ibushi: This year was just so much fun. Some of the most pure, genuine fun I’ve had in wrestling. I haven’t felt anything like that recently.
–Not in WWE?
Ibushi: Right, not in WWE.
–Why do you think this time was so enjoyable?
Ibushi: This time it was about wrestling the way I wanted to wrestle. I always want to make the fans happy when I wrestle, but this time, more than that, I did what I wanted.
–When we talked to you at your public workout, you said you wanted to debut a new move, but that became you saying you couldn’t do it. Was debuting Kamigoe up in the air for you?
Ibushi: I actually had the move in mind for a while, so it wasn’t quite a matter of ‘this is the new move’, more that I wanted to see just how much power I could get behind that knee, and I couldn’t know for sure without trying it in a match
–To a lot of long term New Japan fans, the move and its name will have them thinking of a certain wrestler.
Ibushi: To tell the truth, I’ve wanted to use a Boma-Ye like move for a long time. I’ve given a lot of thought to using the Boma-Ye.
–That being the finish for Shinsuke Nakamura, in WWE now.
Ibushi: With that connection to Nakamura, I’d have liked to have pulled it off soon after he left for America, but I was away at that point..
–You missed your chance then, and decided to use it on your comeback instead.
Ibushi: Ever since we first faced each other in 2013, I’d felt I wanted to add something of Shinsuke’s to my moveset. Actually before he went to WWE, I met with Shinsuke. I don’t know whether he was kidding or not, but he told me ‘go ahead, you should totally use the Boma-Ye’. Those word stuck with me. I think it was a test, in a way.