Eddie Kingston Talks Wrestling In NJPW's G1, Winning Strong Openweight Championship

Eddie Kingston participated in New Japan Pro-Wrestling's G1 Climax for the first time this past summer. The iconic annual wrestling tournament was introduced by NJPW in 1974 and was originally known as the World League. Kingston was asked about his experience in this year's G1 Climax during an appearance on AdFreeShows' "On-Demand" show.

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal until my lady who works in the social media department was just like, 'Yeah, man, people are really into it,'" Kingston said. "And I'm like, 'What? What?' Because it's just — you don't think that. So I just want to say thanks to everybody who feels like they're living through this with me, because they are, I guess. I don't know how, but they are, so thank you. 

"I said in another interview, I felt at peace in Japan. I didn't have any worries. I didn't have to worry about the guys I was fighting. I didn't have to worry about the locker room. I didn't have to worry about my bills. I didn't have to worry about anything. The only time I feel that free is when I'm in the ring. So taking it out of the ring and actually having it in real life — everyday life in Japan — was a trip. I used to daydream of wrestling for the G1 in high school, like, staring out of math class or religion classes window or whatever. It matched my daydream; it surpassed it. So it was everything I wanted. If I go back, f*** yeah. If I don't, I still did the G1."

Kingston defeated Shingo Takagi in his first G1 Climax match. In Block C, he would also face EVIL, HENARE, Tomohiro Ishii, Mikey Nicholls, Tama Tonga, and David Finlay. Kingston earned 8 points overall, but it wasn't enough to advance from his Block. This year's G1 Climax was ultimately won by Tetsuya Naito.

'I was so speechless, it blew my mind'

Prior to participating in the G1 Climax, Kingston defeated KENTA on the second night of NJPW STRONG Independence Day at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, to become the NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion. Kingston spoke about his emotional reaction after winning the NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship.

"I didn't know what to do because it didn't seem real," Kingston said. "I would legit think about wrestling in Korakuen Hall. I would legit think about being IWGP champion; how would I do it? So being a champion in New Japan and then doing it in Korakuen Hall and then doing it against someone who I respect like KENTA and who KENTA was trained by as well by [Yoshihiro] Takayama and by Kenta Kobashi.

"I was so speechless, it blew my mind. So I wasn't getting choked up until Homicide ran out. And then to see my mentor being that happy. That's real. He loves his people to death, sometimes too much. Because I'd be sitting there like, 'Yo, this kid's two-faced. Why do you — why you f****** with him?' He just sticks with you until the end. Even if he'll talk s*** about you because you p***** him off, he'll stick with you until the end, and that's what he did for me. So when he came out and hugged me, I said, 'Oh s***, here it comes.' And then I had to talk right the f*** after. I was like, 'Jesus.' Wiping the original tears away."

On the third annual "AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam" special last week, Kingston overcame Blackpool Combat Club's Claudio Castagnoli in a Winner Takes All match to also add the ROH World Championship to his waist. Kingston is set to defend the ROH World Championship and NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship against Katsuyori Shibata at the inaugural AEW WrestleDream pay-per-view on Sunday night.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AdFreeShows' "On-Demand" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.