Kazuchika Okada previews NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17.
On January 4, Okada will headline the show when he challenges Jay White for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. In doing so, he will aim to capture his seventh world title. Despite the stakes and his rivalry with White, some fans have treated the IWGP United States Championship match as the unofficial main event, as it will be a dream bout between Will Ospreay and the returning Kenny Omega.
In an interview with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Okada responded to the notion that Omega and Ospreay should get the main-event spot for the show. Okada responded by stating that nobody represents NJPW better than him and White, though he is expected to see which match delivers more, at least in the fans’ eyes.
“I think Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega will be an incredible match. I’m personally excited to see it! But after three years away, a lot of fans in the Tokyo Dome won’t know about Kenny Omega. Jay and I represent NJPW as it is right now better than anyone, and I think that’s what needs to be showcased in the main event. Still, I’m excited to see the fan discussion of which match was better!”
Okada also previewed his title match against White and promised to showcase the best version of himself at the show.
“There is no special preparation that I do” he said. “I didn’t wrestle during on World Tag League & Super Jr. tag League; I was very busy doing PR job and appearing on television but I could still train hard, still feel the mat and ring ropes when I get in the ring. So I’m fully prepared for Wrestle Kingdom. Once the match starts, you will see the absolute best showcase of Kazuchika Okada.”
Additionally, the challenger noted that White’s 4-0 record against him might give “Switchblade” plenty of confidence, but he hopes that doesn’t become the latter’s excuse if he loses.
“I’ve only beaten him once. So if he says he’s not worried, I believe him,” Okada said. “He has every right to be confident as a champion, I just hope he will not use that overconfidence as an excuse when he loses.”
WrestleZone will have coverage of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 as it airs on January 4.