KUSHIDA Seeks To Be Face Of Impact Wrestling Chasing Elusive Championship Goal

Sunday's Impact Rebellion show is a big one for the promotion, as they enter a new era after Josh Alexander was forced to vacate the Impact World Championship due to injury. Stepping into his place will be either Impact's Steve Maclin or New Japan Pro-Wrestling's KUSHIDA, who will face off for the first time in the Rebellion main event for the vacant title.

But while the stakes are huge for Impact as a whole, they are arguably even bigger for KUSHIDA himself. In an interview with Sports Illustrated hyping up the match, KUSHIDA admitted that this match means everything, as does the prospect of him becoming the face of Impact Wrestling and expanding it across the globe.

"I've never gotten the top championship," says Kushida. "That means you are the face of the company. I want to be the driving force behind the company. I want to bring Impact all over the world."

KUSHIDA is no stranger to holding championships, having held the WWE NXT Cruiserweight and Ring of Honor Television Titles once each, and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship six times, tying him with Tiger Mask IV for the second most reigns in the history of the title. To date, however, KUSHIDA has never found himself in possession of the top championship in a company.

As such, the long-time New Japan star, who will celebrate his birthday a month from now, has something in common with his opponent Maclin, who will also be seeking the first World Championship of his career. It would also be Maclin's first major singles title on a televised wrestling promotion, as he only held championships on an independent level.