— So, this summer Iizuka and Lance Archer both returned from injury. Suzuki Gun is back to the full fighting strength it was when you returned to New Japan.
Suzuki: You could say that, yes. But I understand how everybody felt when we came back to New Japan, and I would hope everyone understands why stumbled.
–You would use that word to describe your invasion? You ‘stumbled’?
Suzuki: Absolutely. And everything has a reason. Everything does have a reason, right? It’s ridiculous to say ‘I don’t know why, but I won’, ‘I don’t know why, but I lost’. If that’s what you think then you’re burying your head in the sand.
–But has morale improved in Suzuki Gun now everybody is back together?
Suzuki: Back together? Who said we were all back together? Who said this is all of us? Who says this is everybody in Suzuki Gun?
–Sorry, I just thought that everyone was back together now…
Suzuki: That’s your logic, that’s your thinking. I never said this was all of us.
–At any rate, is it heartening to have Archer and Iizuka back?
Suzuki: Well, as far as that’s concerned, their heart, and our numbers does mean we’re moving more smoothly.
–And with Zack Sabre Junior challenging for the Intercontinental title, Kanemaru and Taichi the junior tag titles, Desperado the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title and KES the tag titles, Suzuki Gun has been foremost in the championship mix.
Suzuki: Well, that was the plan from the outset. That’s all that is. We’re back on track, that’s it.
–Do you feel you’re finally getting your due?
Suzuki: Hm? No, I don’t think we’re ‘finally’ getting anything. I don’t think we course corrected, don’t think it should be any more or less than it is. I just think we’re back on the trajectory I’d envisaged. And for me… well on second thought maybe I won’t talk about that.
Suzuki: Listen, I never said that the NEVER title meant everything to me, that it was the end goal. Just like I never said that you’ve seen all of Suzuki Gun.
–Well, for now it least, Suzuki Gun is in every title conversation. Are you looking to bring that show of force to a peak at the Tokyo Dome January 4?
Suzuki: Tokyo Dome? We’ve got bigger fish to fry than that.
–Your plans never have to match up to New Japan’s.
Suzuki: Heh heh heh. If you’d have asked anybody last year when Suzuki Gun might have come back, everyone would have said January 4 at the Tokyo Dome. But we came back on the fifth at Korakuen. You see, it’s pretty easy to get idiots like you to fall into our schemes.
–So, let’s talk about Las Vegas September 22nd and Ring of Honor. You’ll be challenging for Cody’s ROH World title. Your thoughts?
Suzuki: Let’s be honest: this is fandom on ROH and Cody’s part. They booked me because they want Minoru Suzuki’s name on American lips. I’m just obliging them. So I don’t feel like a challenger at all.
–You feel like you’re the one accepting the challenge.
Suzuki: Let me put it this way. I had to cancel being on the rest of the New Japan tour to go and do this. So why go through that bother? What am I going to do? I’m not telling.
–After spending the year in New Japan, do you think wrestling in ROH will be different, particularly?
Suzuki: No, everything’s the same. Well, the ring might be a little different shape wise and that changes your thinking, but basically what I do, it doesn’t matter where in the world I do it.
–Thanks to NJPW World, there are fans all over the globe who are watching Minoru Suzuki. Did that factor into your decision to take on Cody in Las Vegas?
Suzuki: Right. But it’s all a matter of course. I don’t think for one second ‘I did my best, worked my hardest and now this chance has fallen in my lap!’ No. That stage is mine. It’s of my creation. It was bound to happen, that’s all.
–After your successful defence of the NEVER title against Elgin, you could be a double champion by Saturday.
Suzuki: Hah! So what? Would holding two belts make me any better? See, Japanese people love talking about numbers. ‘Oh, he’s got two belts!’ ‘Oooh, he’s got three! Amazing!’ I can’t stand fans like that. Hypocritical idiots. It doesn’t matter how many belts I hold! But see what you think when I take them all!
Suzuki: Get this right. I am not the ‘challenger’ here. Cody, ROH, the whole of America is choosing to challenge Minoru Suzuki. That’s what this match is. But it doesn’t matter to me. All of America! Stand up and come at me. Just try.
ROH World Championship match : Cody vs Minoru Suzuki on 22 September 2017 and See full cards & ticket sales info in the following link
The VOD will be available on NJPW World in a few days after this live event.