After last weekend’s NJPW Power Struggle, Kazuchika Okada spoke with the media. During the presser, he called out Buddy Matthews for a match at NJPW Battle in the Valley. The show takes place tonight at the San Jose Civic in San Jose, California.
Matthews spoke with Alfred Konuwa of Forbes about getting the opportunity to face one of the best wrestlers in the world.
“It’s definitely up there. I feel like it’s kind of in the same ballpark as when I wrestled Roman [Reigns],” Matthews said. “That match that I had with Roman was the coming-out party of the introduction of me to the WWE Universe, so this is going to be the coming-out party outside of that to introduce me to the people who don’t know or haven’t followed my career in WWE.”
Okada and Matthews have exactly had a lengthy feud leading up to their match. Matthews commented on social media after it was announced Okada was on tonight’s show. Okada later called him out and the match was made official shortly after, but Matthews prefers less buildup.
“I feel like I’m a better performer when there’s less buildup to it, less pressure and what not,” Matthews admitted. “I’m just going to go out there, do what I do best and tear it up. I don’t think there’s any bigger match that you could have in a debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I wanted to swim with the whales and they gave me the biggest whale they could find. Back in WWE, in 205 [Live], I had a chip on my shoulder to prove myself, and that chip has only gotten bigger. Expect a bigger, more intense and more driven Buddy Matthews going forward.”
Below is the current card for the show:
* Will Ospreay vs. Ren Narita
* Jeff Cobb and TJP vs. Clark Connors and Karl Fredericks
* Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Jorel Nelson, and Royce Isaacs) vs. Fred Rosser, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, Alex Zayne and Alex Coughlin
* Violence Unlimited (Brody King and Chris Dickinson) vs. Stray Dog Army (Bateman and Misterioso)
* Jay White (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NEVER Openweight Championship)
* Juice Robinson vs. Impact World Champion Moose
* Yuya Uemura vs. Josh Alexander
* Kazuchika Okada vs. Buddy Matthews
Battle in the Valley streams on NJPW World and FITE.