Josh Barnett took part in a media conference call last week to promote this weekend's New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 specials from Long Beach, California. Barnett is calling the shows alongside Jim Ross, which will air on AXS TV. WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri was on the call and asked now that he has watched and commentated both, how would he compare the two Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada matches.
"One's a finish, one isn't," Barnett said, struggling to put words together. "The titles are on the line, there is a different energy in these matches and in the second one, I feel like there is less desperation from Kenny more in that he understands wrestling Okada in a different way and so he's come at it with a different idea."
"Whereas the first time it was just more maniacal, more just full-on sprinting at Okada and trying to see what comes up and just trying to take him down. Whereas this one felt more planned," said Barnett.
"Secondly, I felt like Okada was reeling some from his most recent title defenses and the effort that's taken," he explained. "So I think some of that shows in the match in terms of his fatigue."
Later in the call, WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri asked Barnett what he would like to see NJPW do to get to the next level in the United States.
"I would like to see some quarterly shows, I think, at the very least," said Barnett. "I know they do talent exchange stuff with Ring of Honor but I really do feel their own standalone stuff is truly what's needed."
"I want to see them pay me and Jim Ross millions of dollars to keep our team at its tiptop best," Barnett said while laughing. "Because it takes a lot to keep all this running, the food and the training. You've got to go out and about and have drinks every now and then, this stuff has to be taken care of. And the suits that we're going to need to wear on the weekend, you can't wear the same one twice. So keeping us fat and happy."
"Truly I think, creating some type of consistency and I think they've had that with AXS and our show but now with the success and especially with what I feel is going to be with the shows in Long Beach is to do quarterly shows would be nice," Barnett said. "That's just four shows a year. That's, you know, a lot to ask and a lot to do but I think it will really pay off."
"I think maybe a development of their American talent in a more structured way," Barnett said. "Like maybe even potentially opening up a New Japan dojo in the US to create some new homegrown American talent for New Japan. And also could be a great jumping off point for Canadian talent and any potential South American, Central American, what have you."
Join us tonight for night two of our "NJPW G1 Special In USA" coverage here at WrestlingINC.com.