Kazuchika Okada recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about various topics. Here are the highlights.
On TNA’s mishandling of him:
“I learned in TNA that I needed more than just a good match–I needed a character. That’s how I became the “Rainmaker.” It was good for me. TNA didn’t use me, but I got hungrier to wrestle. The struggle made me better. I was always a good wrestler. I feel like I can wrestle anybody. Of course, I wanted to main event wrestling matches in TNA, but in their eyes, no, that would not happen. So I went back to New Japan. I took the timing and technique I learned in the U.S. back with me to Japan. When I was in TNA, somebody told me about the ‘Rainmaker.’ I thought it was a nice character. In Japan, there is no character–it’s fight, fight, fight. So I needed a character. When I was just a strong wrestler, TNA didn’t use me. I didn’t have a character, so I knew I needed one. That’s what the agents in TNA kept telling me, so I made this character and I took it to New Japan.”
On Shinsuke Nakamura signing with WWE:
“I was very surprised he left for WWE. I was so surprised, but it’s no problem. That’s what he wanted–he wanted to go. There is more emotion in a match in New Japan. The matches here in the U.S. are so fast that sometime they lack emotion. It is move, move, move. When I lost last year’s Tokyo Dome [at Wrestle Kingdom 9], I almost cried. There is that much emotion, and that is a big difference in style.”
Okada also talked about training with Ultimo Dragon and more. Click here to read the entire interview.