IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion KUSHIDA spoke with Sports Illustrated recently about various topics. Here are the highlights.
On possibly going to WWE: Yes. I still remember Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania. I was maybe ten years old, and I cried when Hulk Hogan lost. Pro wrestling is not moves–it is human. It’s not work–it’s heart.
Six years ago, I did not have a visa. I really appreciate the fans in America, and thank you very much to the ROH fans. I hope to go to ROH and WWE and measure up against those wrestlers and fight in that ring. Every day, I’m training, training, training. Sometimes, dreams do not come true. But this time, my dreams have come true. I’m so happy, and I want to come back to the U.S.
On his dream matches: I hope my next matches are with Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal, Adam Cole and a legend in Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Four years ago, I became IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champion, which is a former title of Daniel Bryan [Editor’s note: Bryan wrestled as American Dragon in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and was one-half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team champions with Christopher Daniels–known, at the time, as Curry Man] in 2004. My greatest wish would be to wrestle Daniel Bryan, but since he is retired, I would love to sit down and talk Japanese wrestling with him. I would also like to wrestle Great Muta and Ricky Steamboat.