New Japan Pro Wrestling has posted an interview with current IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Taiji Ishimori. In the interview, Ishimori talked about his match with Japanese legend Jyushin “Thunder” Liger.
“He’s a legend. Just the icon of junior heavyweight wrestling in the Heisei era. If you look at me size wise, I’m a small guy, even for a junior. But Liger opened the door for people like me to become wrestlers. His influence went worldwide and there are countless people who became wrestlers because of Jyushin Thunder Liger. He raised the bar. Considerably, no doubt.”
Ishimori was surprised to find out that Liger is retiring. Liger has been in the business since 1984 and has obviously more than earned his retirement. But according to Taiji, Liger hasn’t lost a step at all.
“He really is a beast. That frame he has; his musculature is like tough armour for him. He hasn’t slowed down any either. Even toward the end of that match, I never once felt like he was getting tired at all. I mean, even if you just think about the mask and that costume, it’s something that would hinder a lesser wrestler. But he doesn’t slow down at all. I was just thinking ‘what the **** is up with this old man?’
But The Bullet Club member also talked about the upcoming G1 Supercard on April 6. The event is a huge night for New Japan, as well as Ring of Honor, as both companies are promoting the G1 together. Ishimori will defend his Junior Championship in one of the event’s most anticipated matches when he faces both Bandido and Dragon Lee.
“The world is watching. I really think this is the biggest moment in my career. It’s crazy to think not one year ago I was revealed at Dontaku as the Bone Soldier. I can’t imagine telling myself this would happen a year ago. To be perfectly frank, a few years before I came to Japan I kind of felt I was spinning my wheels a little bit. I even considered quitting. But to have this big a chance come around, it really made me think ‘so there really is a god of pro wrestling,’ and that they’re looking out for me.”
Streaming LIVE NEXT SATURDAY April 6 for ALL #HonorClub members!
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion @taiji_ishimori vs @LuchadorBandido vs @dragonlee95#G1Supercard – @TheGarden – 730e/430p
Match Info: https://t.co/i90edftHoxhttps://t.co/vS7fcMBTTh – #ROHApp pic.twitter.com/F5k1czFbWl
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) March 26, 2019