TNA Star KUSHIDA Names His Three Favorite Opponents

With nearly 20 years spent in the professional wrestling business, KUSHIDA has faced a wide variety of opponents in the ring. During a recent interview with Denise Salcedo, the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion identified which three competitors have been his favorite to work with.

In assessing his previous run in WWE, KUSHIDA pointed to former "WWE NXT" Champion Johnny Gargano and former WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne (aka Butch) as performers he particularly enjoyed wrestling against. KUSHIDA and Gargano have shared a ring on four different occasions, with their most recent encounter taking place at the 2021 "NXT" TakeOver: Vengeance Day event, where Gargano successfully defended the "NXT" North American Championship. KUSHIDA and Gargano also met in the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, in which KUSHIDA and Leon Ruff defeated Gargano and Austin Theory in the first round.

Outside of a battle royal on "NXT," KUSHIDA and Dunne's interactions were limited to just one singles match, which occurred on night one of the 2021 "NXT" TakeOver: Stand & Deliver event in Orlando, Florida. Dunne emerged victorious in this affair after scoring a pinfall before the 11-minute mark.

In addition to Gargano and Dunne, KUSHIDA also named Kyle O'Reilly as one of his favorite opponents. Over the course of seven years (2014-2021), KUSHIDA and O'Reilly worked over two dozen matches together, occupying rings in the likes of WWE, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and RevPro. Their most recent entanglement was on the June 22, 2021 episode of "NXT," where O'Reilly defeated KUSHIDA, the respective "NXT" Cruiserweight Champion at the time, in a non-title match.

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