Kazuchika Okada Discusses His Career, Future Plans, More


Ahead of this week’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 pay-per-view event at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, Sports Illustrated spoke at length to Kazuchika Okada about his match with IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White, his track record at Wrestle Kingdom, and being the face of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Jay White

You can check out some highlights from the interview below:


On his match with Jay White: “I am excited to wrestle Jay White in the main event at Wrestle Kingdom. True, I’ve only gotten one win from him so far. But I got that win at Madison Square Garden, and the next win will be in the main event at Wrestle Kingdom, so you can’t argue with the value of my wins.”

On his history at Wrestle Kingdom: “I’ve wrestled here a lot, and I’ve had my ups and downs. Looking back at Wrestle Kingdom, you see opponents change, you see the passage of time. And I think, with all I’ve done over the years, you can say Wrestle Kingdom is pretty much synonymous with the career of Kazuchika Okada.”

On being the face of the company: “The face of New Japan Pro-Wrestling has to be great not only in the ring, but also outside of the ring–that’s why I want to beat him and become the new face of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. There’s a real variety on Wrestle Kingdom this year, something for every fan. You have the double main event with the IWGP US heavyweight championship match. You also have the IWGP junior heavyweight four-way, the women’s championship match, and [Keiji] Muto’s last match in New Japan. But the best match will be the last one.”

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