Thank you all for joining us
at this press conference, today. Thank you to those of you
tuning into the online stream. We’ll begin the WRESTLE KINGDOM 13 presented
by The BanG Dream! Girls Band Party press conference. We’ll have a few wrestlers out here
to make comments in a moment. But before that, I have some news to announce. First, we have the full match cards for
FANTASTICA MANIA. Please check your documents. Also, we have match cards for
2 days in Sapporo and in Osaka, after that. I’ll announce those match cards. We have 3 title matches in Sapporo
on the second day. For the IWGP Junior Tag Championship, Champions, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI, defend against
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. And for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Championship, Champions, EVIL & SANADA, defend against
Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. And for the third title match, For the IWGP InterContinental Championship, The champion, Naito Tetsuya,
defends against Taichi. Those three title matches are set
for the second day in Sapporo Also, for NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA on February 11th, Here are the two title matches for that show. For the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, The champion, Taiji Ishimori,
defends against Ryusuke Taguchi. The other title match,
for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, The champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi,
defends against Jay White. Those are the announcements for FANTASTICA MANIA
and THE NEW BEGINNING IN SAPPORO and OSAKA. We’ll now have Hiroshi Tanahashi,
who just became IWGP champion on January 4th. Hello! Thank you very much! Can I set this here? It’s stable. Thank you. Hiroshi Tanahashi, the new IWGP champion,
crowned on January 4th, joins us. On February 11th, at THE NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA,
he defends the title against Jay White. We will now ask for initial thoughts
from Hiroshi Tanahashi, please. The 67th IWGP Heavyweight Champion,
Hiroshi Tanahashi, here. It’s been 4 years, Since I’ve held this title. It feels fresh. I said this in the post-match comments, It’s like I just won it for the first time. It’s true. The IWGP title was just so out of reach for me. However, having the title here, now,
I can see that it belongs to me. The main purpose of today is to
have my picture taken with this title. I’m not planning on making any big statements. I’m not here to loudly declare
all the things I’ll do as champion… First things first, Jay will challenge for my title. After defending it against Jay,
I’m also looking at what’s ahead. Since the Tokyo Dome is set, in 2020,
that’s what I’m looking at it. Somehow… Some way… My goal is to exceed my past defense record,
and surpass Okada’s streak. I’ll go all around Japan with this title. Thank you, to the many people
who came to see me at the Dome, And thank you to those who watched
through New Japan World. That’s all, for me. Thank you very much. We’ll open the floor to questions. We won’t have an interview after the press
conference today, so please ask questions now. If you have any questions…
Yes, go ahead. I guess this will be your third
singles match against Jay, The last two times he wasn’t in Bullet Club,
things have changed. Now he has Gedo. It will probably be very different.
What’s your current impression of Jay White? I have to give him credit for
defeating Okada in the Dome. I recognize his ability. I’ll have my guard up. But I’m very stable. What about the fact that he has Gedo now,
just in the way Okada had him at his side? Well…
It’s not’s worth worrying about. I will keep an eye on Gedo, but I don’t believe
that I have to be overly concerned. Any more questions? Kenny didn’t wrestle at Korakuen Hall
the day after the Dome. The future seems somewhat unclear.
Your thoughts on Kenny, now? I lost to him in Nagaoka. I beat him at the Dome.
Now we are 1 and 1. I’m ready for a rematch, anytime. However, I do not know Kenny’s business
with New Japan, going forward. But, the thing is… Well… I’ll be aware of what he does,
and where that leads. Any more questions? In Sapporo,
before your title match against Jay White, You will tag with Okada and against
Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, This is the first time you and Okada
will team by yourselves, How are you feeling about the upcoming card? That’s news to me. Is that match really happening? Yes, it was just now announced. Well… Since our opponents make a very powerful tag team, We, Tanahashi and Okada,
really have to step up our game. We’ll do it. Next, go ahead. It’s been a few years since you were
in the main event of a Dome show, And you had a fierce battle
which lasted over 30 minutes, But you barely got to play air-guitar. The crowd was pleading for an encore,
but you put it off. Were you really that spent? I wasn’t tired. To be honest. After I had won, The crew told me we only had
a few minutes until 9 o’clock. You see, I wasn’t able to do the
air-guitar with the special effects after 9PM. If I had done two more air-guitar sessions,
then there would be no explosion in the end. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wanted to play air-guitar for the crowd,
even though I was hurting. Bu the staff said,
“Tanahashi, we don’t have time!” That’s something the fans don’t really
need to know, but that was the situation. Next time, no matter what, I’m going to use
everything I’ve got to send the fans home happy. Any more questions? Are we good? Okay, there will be no
additional interview after this. Can we end the questions portion now? Okay, we will conclude here. We will have a celebratory photo op. The most important thing
is that the title is in the photo. Take a cool picture of me. Here, please. I can do smiles and scowls.
Just make a request. Smile, please. Smile.
Sure. Here, please. Scowl, please. Yes. Perfect. But making this face makes my nostrils flare. Look cute, put your face close to the title. Good. Hold that pose. Smile, please. This way, please. Thank you. A scowl over here, please. Are we good?
All done? Tanahashi will now depart.
Thank you, Tanahashi. Thank you! Usually, we don’t stream the photo op,
but today was Tanahashi’s celebration. That concludes the portion with Hiroshi Tanahashi. Now we will move on to…
If we are ready… Yes. We will now have announcements
from Chairman Sugabayashi. Thank you. And now, a few announcements
from Chairman Sugabayashi. Thank you all for taking the time
to be here, today. I have 3 announcements to make today. First, Kota Ibushi suffered a concussion
in his match with Will Ospreay on January 4. He will be absent from the next tour.
It is yet to be determined when he will return. Second, Takashi Iizuka will be retiring. The February 21st NEW JAPAN ROAD
in Korakuen show will be his retirement match. Third, KUSHIDA will leave New Japan
when his contract expires at the end of January. That is all. Thank you very much. Those were the announcements
from Chairman Sugabayashi. We will now have KUSHIDA with us. As stated, KUSHIDA will leave New Japan
when his contract expires this month. Go ahead, please. Thank you. Your contract ends at the end of January, We would first like to have your thoughts, please. As Mr. Sugabayashi announced earlier, I will resign from New Japan
at the end of January. Regarding this choice,
Mr. Kidani, Mr. Meij and Mr. Sugabayashi, They were all very understanding of my decision. It’s a very big turn in my life,
and I’m thankful they understood. As for the future,
I will venture across the world. I want to experience more of pro-wrestling,
with my own eyes. I don’t just want to know about it,
I really want to experience it, first-hand. That’s what I’m hoping for. I spent 8 years in New Japan’s ring. When I first came to New Japan, I was taken aback
by the size, seeing all the moving parts. New Japan made me a real pro-wrestler. And especially, it was the fans,
who gave me the warmest reception and words. That made me the man I am today. I’m truly grateful. Thank you very much. There are many people involved
in making a pro-wrestling show, From the ring staff to fans,
from friends in the locker room to rivals, All the elements and people who I worked with
made me grow as a person and as a wrestler. I had so many thoughts racing through
my head when making this decision. I hope to express some of those thoughts
through our discussion today. We’ll open the floor to questions. There will be no additional interview
for KUSHIDA after. If there are questions, ask them now. Are there any questions?
Yes, go ahead. You always challenged yourself to
elevate the level of the Junior division, It was announced that the BEST OF THE SUPER Jr.
final will be held at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Even though you won’t participate,
how do you feel about that? Well, finally we are going to have a final
at Ryogoku Kokugikan, this year. Honestly, my initial feeling was joy. A few years ago, when I won the SUPER Jr.,
I exclaimed, “I will take you to a bright future.” I can’t say having the SUPER Jr. finals
at Ryogoku Kokugikan is that, ‘Bright Future’, If I was still here, participating in that event, I would probably say,
“I’m the one that bought the Juniors to Ryogoku,” But to be honest, The reason why the Junior division has increased
in stature is due to efforts of many wrestlers. The division has taken shape and forced
New Japan to take action. I’m truly happy. One more thing, Even though I was the one
who called it a, ‘Bright Future’, I wasn’t completely capable of getting us there. But I don’t want people to misunderstand,
I’m not leaving because of uncertainty. When I heard the announcement that
it will be held in Ryogoku, I felt at ease. I’m completely confident that the
Junior division will be able to do it. Any other questions?
Yes, go ahead. You alluded to having many thoughts
that went into making this decision, What was the biggest factor in this decision?
What do you mean specifically by going overseas? Well… I’ll still be a part of New Japan
until the end of January. I will not have any negotiations,
contract signings, none of that. My childhood dream… Was to be big in the world. So, I’m hoping to fight
where I can achieve that dream. When I think about the biggest factor, I talked about my childhood aspirations, After finally getting to NJPW and being able to
satisfy my hunger as a professional wrestler, And I met many great rivals, had a lot of matches,
title matches, I believe I work very hard, I think that I can be proud of my body of work. A few years ago,
my childhood dream started to fade. However, I won SUPER Jr. twice
and won the championship several times. Throughout all of last year, When I thought about my role without a title, I had chances to have matches with Young Lions, And I had a chance to teach pro-wrestling,
and then I learned through that experience. So, as I was teaching them,
what I ended up learning was, I realized I have a new kind of role, too. And one more thing, I’m going to turn 36 years old this year. I know that life as a
professional wrestler is not so long, About two years ago,
I had titles in both, New Japan and ROH. While I was traveling back and forth
between Japan and America, After seeing others get injured,
I realized that my time is limited. Some wrestlers have long careers, Some might think that I’m spoiled, But when I face the reality of my career
compared to my whole life, In my life, I can only wrestle for a short time. I began to realize that. And my childhood dream came back to me, again. Specifically, I volunteered to participate
in a seminar at LA Dojo, last year. I came to understand Mr. Shibata’s situation,
his injury and his way of life. Teaching pro-wrestling is very tough,
that’s what I learned there. It’s like reading every bit of a thick book.
It’s that hard. I’m the kind of person who wants to
read books thoroughly. When it comes to wrestling,
my mind works the same way. It also made me ask, “How can I help
teach pro-wrestling to the next generation?” Wrestlers like Shibata, Liger, Makabe… Those mentors bring the spirit of the
New Japan Dojo to the next generation. I asked myself, “What can I do?” My identity… I came to New Japan by going through
many different systems. Being in the LA Dojo
reminded me where I came from. Going to the LA Dojo was my turning point. Is that good? Yes. Any other questions? Here. Go ahead, Tanahashi. What was most enjoyable and… What was most painful in New Japan? If there was anything, please tell me. N…Nothing was painful. After all, I… This is bad… Tanahashi, you are mean. I…I love pro-wrestling. The most painful thing for me would be
not being able to live as pro-wrestler, So, thinking about the days I experienced that, I’m in the best environment,
where there are many great fans. My 8 years in New Japan were very fulfilling. The happiest moment was… On a tour bus, Sitting there, with Tanahashi, and… With companions… It was great fun,
to go on those life journeys with teammates. I don’t know why tears are falling now. This is the decision I made.
I have no regrets. So, I have no idea why I’m crying. I don’t know why. Anyway… I’m crying now because
I’ve had the greatest time here. Thanks. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Any other questions?
Go ahead. You said that you have no regrets
in your time in New Japan, You’re still under contract
until the end of January, If there is anything you haven’t done yet,
that you can share? Well… If there was something I haven’t done yet, If there was,
then I don’t think I could make this decision. I wouldn’t be able to leave New Japan. As a New Japan wrestler,
for the rest of the month, Until January 31st, I’ll be devoted
to New Japan, as a pro-wrestler. Well… Throughout my 8 years here,
I was influenced by many mentors. Mr. Liger… Mr. Tanahashi… Mr. Shibata… Mr. Makabe… And Mr. Tiger Hattori… All of them love pro-wrestling, so much. Seeing their experience,
the struggle to sell even one ticket, The work of turning someone onto pro-wrestling.
The hunger. The politeness. I’ve learned it all from those mentors.
I thought,“That’s cool! I want to be like them!” If there is a mentor I haven’t faced yet,
from who I mentioned… It’s only Tanahashi. Only… It’s not my place to ask, but that’s it. Are there any more questions? Are we good? Last question, from me. Even though you still have time left, what was
your most significant match in these last 8 years? Well… The match against Jyushin Thunder Liger
for the IWGP Junior title in Fukuoka. Thank you very much. No more questions?
Okay? Then, we’ll end the questions. We will conclude the press conference here. Thank you to everyone who joined us
and tuned in to the live stream. Thank you very much.