wrestling / News

Jushin Liger on Why Minoru Suzuki Showed Him Respect in Their Last Match

November 17, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Jushin Liger

NJPW1972.com recently interviewed Jushin Liger and Hiroshi Tanahashi. They discussed Liger’s feud and history with Minoru Suzuki. Below are some highlights.

Jushin Liger on his match with Suzuki at King of Pro Wrestling: “I saw him move toward me with the chair. I was laying there and thought ‘man getting hit with that is gonna suck’, but then he disappeared from my view, and nothing happened. I thought it was a case of the samurai showing mercy to his fallen foe. Then I heard this big reaction from the crowd and I’m lying there going ‘what the hell is going on? I can’t see a damn thing, I can’t move here’ (laughs).”

Liger on his history with Suzuki: “At the end of the day Suzuki and I both did our learning in the ‘Fujiwara Dojo’. Our roots are the same, and to an extent I understand where Suzuki was coming from arguing about me going quietly into retirement. But to get me to that singles match, man he made my blood boil. I felt before that Ryogoku match, more than a wrestler, I had been seen as this kindly old man figure because I was retiring. Pro wrestling is combat, though, and if you’re not in that mindset then there’s no point in being in the ring. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit vexed, that Suzuki carried me so completely in the palm of his hand. But he understood just who Jyushin Thunder Liger is, and he lit a fire under my ass, too. That’s why I thanked him on the mic, perhaps.”

Liger on why he used Battle Liger: “For me it was a simple enough choice; Suzuki had grabbed at the horns on my mask during the preliminary matches, so I figured it would be better to get rid of them.”

Tanahashi on how he perceives Suzuki bowing to Liger: “Hmmm… If I were to put myself in that situation, I think the guys you’ve shared a Dojo with have a special significance. For me, (Katsuyori) Shibata, (Wataru) Inoue, those guys are different to anyone else. Suzuki had come into the Dojo after Liger, and you got that real sense of Suzuki with his senpai. … All the while as they were in those preliminary tags, Suzuki was trying to push Liger’s buttons, trying to make him angry. Looking at it from a wrestler’s perspective, I was asking myself ‘why is he doing that? Just to get him mad? Or is he trying to pull out that frightening side of Liger, the awesome side of Liger?'”