Tokyoites brave the snow to meet the top stars of CMLL
This weekend saw the 8th edition of “TOUCH the CMLL – SPECIAL PARTY”. Fans got to meet a few new faces as well as some familiar ones with Dulce Gardenia, Niebla Roja & Soberano Jr. representing CMLL and Ryusuke Taguchi & Satoshi Kojima representing NJPW.
Kicking off proceedings was NJPW’s own Ryusuke Taguchi:
“Ola! It’s me, Ryusuke Taguchi! I’m very touched you came, but I can always be touched more so don’t be shy. It’s very cold outside, so please try to stay warm. Touch each other if you have to.”
Next came Satoshi Kojima.
When Mr. Robin, the moderator, asked me about my favorite words in Spanish, I said, “I only know bien!” Bien means “Good”, so I always said ‘Bien’. That means, it’s going to be bien today! “
The first luchadore to take the stage was Dulce Gardenia, who made his debut appearance this Fantasticamania.
“Thank you for coming today, I want to give you all a big kiss! Today is so cold, so please give me a big hug to warm me up if you see me later!”
Next up was, Soberano Jr., who jumped on the microphone
“Thank you very much for inviting me. Kakko ii! Mecha Samui!“
The fans cheered when they heard Soberano Jr. speak Japanese.
Roja was the last to speak as the room was starting to heat-up
A few high-pitched shrieks of delight from the female attendees echoed around the room, as the handsome Roja took the stage. “Thank you very much for your warm welcome, let’s have fun today. Arigato Gozaimasu! Minna-san, suki desu!”
Following the various introductions, the talk-show part of the event started in earnest.
Taguchi described his memories in Mexico: “It was about 15 years ago, but I went for training for about 8 months and ended-up teaming with OKUMURA to form a team called ‘Tsunami del Oriente’. Also I was in the same Lucha class as Luciferno and got beat-up a lot. As my now departed grandparents said at the time “Your blood flows in Mexico,” he joked.
Kojima joined in, saying “I went on a brief excursion to Mexico for about a month in September 2017, but I’ve been friends with OKUMURA in All Japan Pro-Wrestling since about 2004. He and I have been friends for a long time. To be honest, when I went, I didn’t know the Lucha Libre style at all and I could only wrestle the Japanese way, but the Mexicans welcomed me and always showed me kindness. I’m very grateful for that experience.”
When asked about his impression of the Japanese wrestlers he’s faced so far, Gardenia commented, “I love dancing with BUSHI. He is very good at kissing. Naito, BUSHI and Hiromu are the best kissers.”
Soberano talked about his love of Japanese culture, saying, “Kinkakuji was very beautiful. I want to experience more Japanese culture in the future. I love Japan.”
The warm and relaxed atmosphere inside the restaurant filled the hearts of the attendees and when the talk show part of the event ended, fans took pictures and recieved autographs from the attending wrestlers.
At each of their respective tables, the luchadores thanked each fan with a hearty “Gracias!” and the restaurant swelled with the spirit of international friendship.
As for the Japanese wrestlers, Taguchi and Kojima enjoyed brief conversations with their fans and smiles beamed from the faces of fan and wrestler alike.
As the meet & greets wound down, the assembled wrestlers held a brief Q&A session with the fans and a joint commemorative photo was taken and the atmosphere was abuzz with excitement. As the lucadores waved goodbye to the fans, they lead a cheer of “hasta mañana” to close out proceedings.
Gardenia: “Everyone is important. Thank you so much!”
Soberano: “Japon will always be in my heart. Arigato gozaimasu!“
Roja: “You guys really showed me your passion! Minna-san, suki desu!”
Kojima: “I only went to Mexico three years ago, so I’m really happy to be able to participate in this sort of event. I have a big match tomorrow, so I will do my best to win. Thank you very much!”
Taguchi: “Thank you for coming even though it’s so cold outside. We are like one big family. I will never forget you, and I will never forget this day.”
Residents of Japan can join future events such as these by signing-up with the NJPW fan club here.