Night two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 didn’t end with a big post-main event splash (sorry SANADA), but plenty of intrigue came from the press conferences that followed the show.
For his first act as “god”, Kota Ibushi wants to address an issue a lot of New Japan fans have raised over the past year - the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles being essentially bound together. Rather than dropping one or defending them separately, Ibushi has a different idea:
“The IWGP Intercontinental Championship is the greatest belt there is. The IWGP Heavyweight Championship is the strongest belt there is. I want to unify these titles. I want it to be both the greatest and the strongest. Nobody has challenged for just one of these titles. Then what does a double championship mean? I want to unify them. Then I will make my ultimate dreams come true.”
See! Told you there was intrigue! And while Kota’s dreams are entirely up to Gedo and the bookers, the man he beat on Tuesday in the Tokyo Dome is engaging us in a little game of work or shoot. Jay White is fed up and threatening to head home to New Zealand after Wednesday’s New Year’s Dash!!
“I feel like I’m physically the closest to death as I’ve ever been and hopefully I ever will be. You just all saw what I put on the line. I put myself at risk, not for your entertainment or myself. A byproduct of me being in the ring is your entertainment. So, by proxy, I put myself through that for your entertainment. I can barely walk and you just stand and stare at me. You ever think to help somebody in need? Did you enjoy me trying to walk out there BY MYSELF! For what? I go through all of that and you don’t even have the tiniest bit of respect or the tiniest bit of empathy to where you would think to help somebody. If you can’t do something simple like that, I will never be appreciated like I should be. Everything I’ve done. Sacrifices. The years away. I haven’t seen my family or my parents for three and a half years because I dedicated myself to this. I put everything into this! I believe in myself like you wouldn’t believe. I know what I can do. At least I thought I knew. I believed that I was about to become God. I’ve been wrong. You like me saying that? I was wrong. It wasn’t my new era. Doesn’t that make you all happy?
“I am out here, in Japan, wasting my life away during a global pandemic, and for what? I could be at home. If I can’t get it done after all the time and sacrifice, why am I here? I’m not going to do this anymore. Not for any of you. If I can’t do this anymore, then I will not do it. It’s not worth me being here. Maybe my time would be spent better someplace else. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m not going to do this anymore. Tomorrow, contractually, if they want me. If they want to make me wrestle again after what I’ve been through, and I don’t mean just tonight, I mean the last — in eight days, it’ll be eight years to the day that I first started training. I’m not going to do this anymore. If they want to make me show up tomorrow, fine. I’m sure they will because you love nothing more than to see me distressed. Fine. I’ll show up tomorrow, but after that, that’s it.”
These are both pretty brilliant bits of follow-up to the great storytelling we got at Wrestle Kingdom 15. Check out Rev. Claire’s reactions from Ibushi vs. White and all the night two action here, and we’ll see you tomorrow with news & fallout from New Year’s Dash!!