With Wrestle Kingdom 17 marking Kazuchika Okada’s eighth time in the main event, he has looked back on how his career has run parallel with the showpiece event.
A six-time IWGP World Champion, there are few wrestlers who can be put as being as synonymous with NJPW and Wrestle Kingdom than ‘The Rainmaker’ Kazuchika Okada.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, Okada has discussed how his career has progressed in particularly notable ways at Wrestle Kingdom, and how it has marked changes in the company.
I’ve wrestled here a lot, and I’ve had my ups and downs. Looking back at Wrestle Kingdom, you see opponents change, you see the passage of time. And I think, with all I’ve done over the years, you can say Wrestle Kingdom is pretty much synonymous with the career of Kazuchika Okada.
At this year’s showpiece event, ‘The Rainmaker’ will battle current IWGP World Champion ‘Switchblade’ Jay White, and although he doesn’t have a great record against his foe is predicting a victory in this outing.
I am excited to wrestle Jay White in the main event at Wrestle Kingdom. True, I’ve only gotten one win from him so far. But I got that win at Madison Square Garden, and the next win will be in the main event at Wrestle Kingdom, so you can’t argue with the value of my wins.
The face of New Japan Pro Wrestling has to be great not only in the ring, but also outside of the ring – that’s why I want to beat him and become the new face of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
In the co-main event of the show, Will Ospreay will defend his IWGP United States Championship against the returning former title holder Kenny Omega. Ospreay has recently discussed where he feels his future lies when his current deal with NJPW expires.