Kazuchika Okada spoke with New Japan Pro Wrestling on facing Cody Rhodes in the ring, NJPW expanding into the U.S., and if he felt Kota Ibushi / Kenny Omega vs. The Young Bucks was a good representation of NJPW. Here are some of the highlights:
NJPW expanding into the U.S.:
“Honestly, I had some reservations at first. I wondered ‘Can we really sell enough tickets here?’ But I thought it was good that we were taking a first step into something new.”
Wrestling Cody Rhodes:
“Like I expected, he was great. I don’t know how much came from his dad and how much he developed by himself, but he’s obviously very charismatic, and more than that, he isn’t excessively flashy. Some fans see guys who do flashy moves and might think ‘This guys a great wrestler,’ or ‘That guys tough,’ but without big showy moves, he’s able to get the fans to know he’s really tough. He’s so fundamentally sound, too. A really good wrestler.”
His thoughts on when the live crowd chanted “New Japan” during a Young Bucks vs. Kenny Omega / Kota Ibushi match at NJPW Strong Style Evolved (which drew some complaints from Hiroshi Tanahashi and KUSHIDA):
“I didn’t give it much thought. I mean, that match was on a New Japan card, right? That makes it just as much ‘New Japan’ as anything else. Kenny, Ibushi, the Young Bucks are all perfectly aware that they’re wrestling in an NJPW ring. So I don’t really see the problem. But the one thing I will say, and I felt this about the Kenny vs Cody match (at G1 Special in San Francisco), since it is on a New Japan show, I’m not a fan of putting together cards that you could normally see in America. To be honest, Cody vs Kenny, that’s a match you could see on an American show.”
Okada also discussed working at “All In.” You can check out the full interview by clicking here.