Prior to his match against Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) G1 Special event in Long Beach, California, Ring Of Honor (ROH) World Champion and former WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes took part in a media conference call to promote the big event. Below are some of the highlights.
On NJPW being committed to their U.S. expansion and how the G1 Special events won’t be “just some experiment” that comes and goes: “We don’t want this just be another kind of mark in history, where it’s like, ‘remember when they came and did that one show in the US and it was really great’ and just something that’s talked about as something they did. I don’t think that’s their plan, I don’t think this is an experiment. I think if it was they’ve already been proven right with the fact that the show sold out in three minutes.
“I think they need to start looking at ‘A markets’ and shortly, you know, shortly after the G1 Special in the USA, I hope you some announcements of you know, ‘coming here’ and ‘coming here,’ youth have the ability to put the bodies in the building. I hope this is the beginning of seeing a lot more shows in the United States. You know, they’ll have a championship now that’s represented as far as it’s considered the United States Championship. So that means you got to play to the United States. Whether that champion’s from the United States or not, doesn’t matter.”
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On wrestlers that weren’t on his list of talent he aspired to work with following his WWE release and talents he would like to stand across from in the ring: “Yeah, I mean, so many people, and I don’t want to single anyone out because I feel like I always single out the same guy and maybe because he’s the one who impressed me the most. But Pentagon, Penta, for sure. I’ve had a couple of interactions with him and to me, I would pay money to see that guy. I would buy that mask. He’s one for sure that should have been on that list and there’s a lot of guys. There’s a lot of guys — if Jerry Lawler, which I see him still out there wrestling now and again — I’d love to stand across the ring from Jerry Lawler.”
On Kenny Omega not being on his original list: “Maybe it was fate that Kenny wasn’t on, wasn’t on the list, if that makes any sense. Because we were fated to do this Bullet Club thing together and represent it in America and Japan. But that’s one that I don’t know he was pissed he wasn’t on it. I know some guys were pissed they weren’t on it and I had to tell them flat out, ‘Hey I couldn’t make a three-page list and post it. We’re looking for a simple picture on social media.’ But yeah, Kenny, for sure.”
H/T to WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the above quotes.