— njpwworld (@njpwworld) 2017年6月3日
- 8TH MATCH NO TIME LIMIT
BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. 24 FINAL
Match time: 27m59s
Back to the future → Pin
-- You were congratulated by your peers just now. All in all, how are you feeling?
‘I don't think there's been a Best of the Super Juniors so packed with sweat and tears. Coming to the building today, I just felt “somehow I've struggled and finally got here.” And tonight, I put my soul, my life on the line in that ring.’
--It seemed you were on the verge of defeat more than once in that match. What kept you going, and dig down so deep?
‘I'd be done without these fans. There were times on the tour that my heart was breaking, that I wanted to give up. I was taking loss after loss, my brain and my body were out of whack. I think I spent longer in the ring than in my bed at home. But when the bell rings, your body just moves, completely independent of your mind. I hadn't felt that before, so detached. It was honestly scary. I thought I might die.’
-- After all that, you beat last year’s winner. Ospreay was in tears after the match, and congratulated you when he reached the back. You said thank you in the ring; can you expand on how he was as an opponent?
KUSHIDA (close to tears):
‘It’s so strange that I'm so tied to foreign wrestlers, in this building, like Ricochet, to Kyle O’Reilly and now to Will Ospreay that are just such amazing talents. I couldn't wish for better rivals, better matches. All those guys fought so hard, were so driven to win. Ospreay is a guy that transcends being a foreign hand, being a junior heavyweight, a cruiser as they say in English. He's above all of that, and in that regard tonight felt very connected to the Ricochet match. I said before I wanted to show that the junior heavyweight division wasn't to be messed with. Once upon a time, if you weren't huge, you couldn't make it. But Jushin Thunder Liger forged a new genre, and because of him, I'm here, Ospreay is here, and we’ve been able to fight with this rebellious spirit and chips on our shoulders. Ospreay for sure has that spirit. Man, I should be mad at him if anything; he's still in his early 20s.’
-- You undeniably helped create the international festival feel of Best of the Super Juniors. Was there a special meaning to the wave at the end?
‘I don't want to lose out to the G1, I want Best of the Super Juniors to be elevated. It's not quite “Back to the Future” but I grew up in the 90s era and I want to get closer to that level of interest and excitement, and fast. I always wanted to do the wave as a gesture of the whole crowd coming together. I think maybe a lot of people in Japan don't understand the significance of this (ROH TV title) but I wanted this belt to expand the global footprint of the junior heavyweights. It's almost like my diplomat’s business card, and even if it makes for a tough schedule, I want to keep hold of it and keep defending it. A TV champion has to defend the belt once a month. Tiger (Hattori) told me “you're overbooked”, but I’ll put body and soul on the line to defend this title.’
-- Obviously Liger was at the forefront of the golden age of junior heavyweights. He's listening now, what would you like to express to him?
‘I’d like to correct you on the golden age phrase. We’re in the golden age now. Things always look beautiful from a distance, and as a fan, I know that nostalgic feeling well. But to get hung up in that would be to disrespect everybody that was part of the tournament this year and that are here today, so I don't think it's fair.’
-- In that case, the future can only shine even brighter.
‘Right. There's still more to do. Hiromu, I didn't say it in the ring, but just as Will Ospreay won in that ring last year, people enter this tournament from around the world to make a star of themselves, and to carry New Japan forward with honour. I can't have that lead to a letdown. It did for Ospreay against me last year. Not this year. Especially after those two losses in such big buildings. Tokyo Dome, Ryogoku, I'm getting payback for those nights.’
-- I'm excited to see what you do as BOSJ champion.
‘I'm so excited. To think that I've been able to win Best of the Super Juniors twice in my life.. When I was scraping together money to go and train in Mexico, I never thought this would be possible. I'm excited, and I hope the fans are too. Thank you.’