NJPW Ace Kazuchika Okada Feels Wrestling Will Bounce Back In 2020


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Tetsuya Naito might have beaten him for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14, but Kazuchika Okada is still the face of NJPW in 2020. In this time of uncertainty, Okada did an interview of the official NJPW website where he spoke on the cancellations, how wrestling will come back strong, and much more.

Staying In Shape At The NJPW Dojo

You don’t become one of the best wrestlers in the world without a passion for it, and Okada has exactly that. He just wants to wrestle, and has found himself going to the NJPW Dojo and entering the ring to ensure that he remains in perfect shape for when things get back to normal.

‘Yeah. Obviously, I miss it. I just want to wrestle! I don’t go down to the Dojo all that much, but I went the other day. It was weird getting in the ring there. It’s hard to explain. We’re not entirely off, right? We don’t have matches- I’m not sure whether the right word is cancellation or postponement- but it’s not a case of ‘right, time to go on holiday!’. I have to stay in top shape, but it’s hard to exactly put my finger on what it is I should be doing. At any rate, just standing in that Dojo ring, it hits you: this is home.’

NJPW hasn’t run a show since the Manabu Nakanishi retirement show, and haven’t resorted to empty arena shows for the New Japan Cup or Sakura Genesis.

Kazuchika Okada Doesn’t Feel Empty Arena Shows Work For Wrestling

While WWE, AEW, and so many more have ran empty arena shows, NJPW has not done this. Okada explains exactly why he doesn’t like the empty arena style exactly.

‘Wrestling involves a lot of punishment. A lot of bumps, a lot of moves you have to take from opponents. To not have that encouragement of a live crowd, I’m not sure how I’d deal with that. If someone takes a hell of a chop, say. You feel and hear that contact but there’s no reaction, no encouragement. I’m not sure in an empty environment that a wrestler can give all they have, and give any audience something they’d be happy with. I know the audience reaction is incredibly important to me. It’s a reaction from a live crowd that makes me know whether I’m having a good match.’

The NJPW Roster Is Ready To Release All Their Tension

With everything going on, it’s easy to get caught up in the doom & gloom of the situation. But things will go back to normal eventually, and Kazuchika Okada wants fans to bottle up some emotion to release at events.

‘Just save all that emotion up. It’s not like we’re going away forever. Not just the fans, but the wrestlers, the staff, all of us have a lot of pent up tension, and when the time’s right I want us all to release that, all at once. I think in a way, we can make 2020 a banner year for pro-wrestling, still.’

Once fans are back in the thousands at wrestling events, things are going to be louder and more passionate than ever. After months of no shows or silence in the stands, once fans are back in the picture things are going to be better than ever. The wrestlers are ready, the fans are ready, the world simply isn’t ready.

Are you excited for wrestling to come back as normal? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.

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