Hiroshi Tanahashi Reveals Big NJPW Goal For 2023

If you take Dominik Mysterio's short stay in the clink, and multiplied it by a few million, it still wouldn't be anywhere close to the hours Hiroshi Tanahashi has logged as one of the top stars of NJPW over nearly 20 years. But even with all that he's accomplished, the 46-year-old Tanahashi still has more he's looking to do in the company. While speaking at Bushiroad New Year's Grand Announcement earlier in the week, Tanahashi revealed his main goal for 2023 (via Tokyo Sports), and it's to get back to ground "The Ace" is more than familiar with.


"This year, I want to challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight belt and become champion," Tanahashi said. "I want to be a force that helps the pro wrestling world stand up from the hard times, so please continue to support me." Just as interesting as Tanahashi's goal, however, was the revelation of what he may decide to do should he be unsuccessful in his quest. "As long as I am a professional wrestler, I want to be a champion," Tanahashi said. "If I no longer aim to be a champion, that's when I think it's time to retire."

Tanahashi will celebrate his 24th year in wrestling this October, and the former 8-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion has showed signs of wear and tear in recent years, including dealing with injuries to his biceps, elbow, and legs. Despite this, he has largely remained active for the promotion, and will be appearing on all three New Beginning events NJPW is promoting in late January and early February.