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Shinsuke Nakamura Remembers Learning From Antonio Inoki

October 6, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Shinsuke Nakamura WWE Smackdown Image Credit: WWE

Shinsuke Nakamura learned a lot from Antonio Inoki when he trained under him, and the WWE star recently reflected on Inoki’s passing. Nakamura spoke with Tokyo Sports for a new interview and shared some memories of Inoki, who passed away on Monday at the age of 79. You can check out some highlights below (translations courtesy of Google):

On learning from Inoki while training: “When I didn’t know what to do, I was able to make connections and lead my life as a professional wrestler. I think it was Antonio Inoki who let me.”

On calling out Inoki in 2009 when he won the IWGP Heavyweight Title: “I caused a lot of trouble in various fields, but I don’t think it was as bad as Mr. Inoki [laughs]. I’ve only been in professional wrestling for 20 years, but I’m proud to have Antonio Inoki in my story. I think it’s okay to think that

On Inoki’s influence on his strong style wrestling: “I think it varies from person to person, what do they find in their strong style? Inoki’s case, he inherited the anger from Rikidozan-sensei. I think it’s something to drop in, but Mr. Inoki’s influence is really big.”

On inheriting Inoki’s fighting spirit: “After all, I intend to inherit that spirit when I create a path. Great… I don’t know how to say it. It’s a ‘burning fighting spirit’ that can’t be described in one word. Clearly state what you inherited from Mr. Inoki. I can’t do it, but I think that means I have no choice but to constantly move forward.”