wrestling / News

Shingo Takagi On Why He Wants Revenge Against KENTA In the G1, Talks Jon Moxley & Naito

July 12, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Shingo Takagi NJPW Dominion

– Shingo Takagi spoke with NJPW for a new interview discussing several of his upcoming opponents in the G1 Climax tournament, including KENTA. Highlights are below:

On getting in the G1 by beating Satoshi Kojima at Dominion and demanding to be in the tournament: “That time on the mic was the first time since last October I really truly spoke my mind. I think every time before I was trying to fit in with the rest of LIJ, exude that coolness … Before when I was asking to have SHO in the same block as me in Best of the Super Juniors, that was my true voice as well. That time, I knew I was in the tournament in general, so here it was a much more passionate deal.”

On if he has any concerns about going from a junior heavyweight tournament into one that’s predominantly heavyweight: “Not particularly. I think some part of me has been looking at the G1 ever since I came into the company. That’s why I went into the Best of the Super Juniors feeling like I mustn’t lose. I’m not planning on breaking my focus heading into the G1.”

On what he’s seen of the G1 in the past: “Well, obviously it’s one of the most important events on the calendar for New Japan. At one point I would have thought I was getting ahead of myself if I said I wanted in the G1. Back then I never thought I’d settle here. At Ryogoku I said I wanted to be openweight, and in Dominion I got results. Of course, I’m not taking any of this lightly.I know that from some other wrestlers opinions are flying about the field this year, and that’s good, that’s how important and competitive the G1 is.”

On who he is looking at in particular: “Naito, obviously. I knew coming into the G1 that I would probably have to face one of my peers, but I really felt I wanted to face the guy that brought me to New Japan, Naito … And he’s the Intercontinental Champion. No doubt about it, the chance to measure myself against a yardstick like a reigning champion is exciting.”

On his long history with Naito: “We were teens back then. We both were there because we wanted to be pro wrestlers. I think from day one there was this feeling that we couldn’t lose out to one another. ”

On associating with Jon Moxley in Dragon Gate USA: “We were actually in the same group together there, I drove to venues with him … This was a long time ago. 2009, 2010? He drove this really beaten up car, a mess inside and out. It made me think ‘man life is tough for an American indie wrestler.'”

On if Moxley said anything to him when they passed by each other at Best of the Super Jr. 26: “No, no. We didn’t make eye contact. But I think he sent me a message without needing any words.”

On his G1 match with Tomohiro Ishii: “I’ve liked Ishii for a while now. His bullishness, his aura. We probably think the same way about wrestling.”

On KENTA entering the G1: “I saw him on the monitors at Osaka, him coming out and suddenly wanting to put himself in the G1. It hit hard for sure. I paid my dues, went through the steps. I don’t think KENTA should just be able to say ‘see you at the G1′ … Look, I didn’t come here because of what NJPW wanted, it was because of what Naito wanted as part of LIJ. So I was tested in the Super Junior Tag League, tested in Best of the Super Juniors. I paid my dues, went through the steps. I don’t think KENTA should just be able to say ‘see you at the G1.'”

On his last match against KENTA in March of 2008: “I took the Go2Sleep. That concussed me; after the match it was Go2Hospital (laughs). I definitely wanted to get revenge right then. It’s taken 11 years, but now we’re both in NJPW … Maybe he doesn’t remember, but I can’t forget. Right before I lost consciousness I was thinking ‘I’m gonna get you for this!’ To tell you the truth, I think NJPW has the best wrestling in the world. I don’t watch WWE, don’t watch American pro wrestling, and honestly don’t know or care about what he did or didn’t do in the States. Just because you make a name for yourself in America doesn’t mean you can cut it here.”