Hiroshi Tanahashi has given an unofficial timetable for his retirement from in-ring competition.
Hiroshi Tanahashi is widely considered one of the best wrestlers still active today. He has been wrestling for New Japan Pro-Wrestling for almost his entire 23-year career and his career is filled with some of the greatestwrestling matches in decades.
Lately, though, it seems like Tanahashi has been slowing down. He isn’t in the main-event scene as often anymore and appears to wrestle more cautiously as to avoid injury.
But with such a huge legacy and an extensive catalogue of great matches, many fans have wondered how long Tanahashi will keep wrestling for. Well, “the Ace” has answered that question, in a way.
“This year, I want to challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight belt and become champion. I want to be a force that helps the pro wrestling world stand up from the hard times, so please continue to support me. Why now? Because there is a lot of attention and spread today.
Some people may think, ‘You’re already a [legend],’ but as long as I am a professional wrestler, I want to be a champion. If I no longer aim to be a champion, that’s when I think it’s time to retire. This is a statement of determination once again.”
Hiroshi Tanahashi is an eight-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but that was New Japan’s former world title that existed from 1987 to 2021. The new one, the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, was created in 2021 when the heavyweight and Intercontinental titles were unified.
h/t Fightful for the transcription