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Kazuchika Okada Says Pacing Is Key to Beating Kenny Omega

Posted By Caroline Walsh on 06/09/18


Kazuchika Okada spoke with NJPW ahead of his IWGP Heavyweight Championship match against Kenny Omega at NJPW Dominion. Highlights are below:

On if he thought he’d defend his title against Kenny Omega again: “Yes, I had a feeling we’d meet at Osaka-Jo Hall again. This will be my third defense against Kenny, I don’t like having that draw on record. It counts as a defense, but a draw result doesn’t sit well with me. And I lost to him in the G1 last year, also. Now is the time to unveil an even more dominant champion. … In order to show this dominant champion, I have to beat the strongest challenger.”

On how he will work the first-ever two out of three falls/no time limit IWGP Heavyweight Championship match: “I guess last year’s match was a rare case, a 60-minute draw, but I would have kept fighting past 60 minutes. What’s bothering me is that we ended in a draw, that’s the only thing I want to rectify. So, I suggested we just keep fighting until one us finishes the other. I’m looking forward to it, strategy is paramount. If I exhaust one-hundred percent of my stamina on the first fall, then there’s no way I can win. Should I go 50/50 or 40/40/20? Pacing will be key here. I need to plan it out.”

On how he hopes fans experience his match at Dominion: “This is different, best of three falls. I don’t know if it will be two straight falls or go to three falls. I want fans to enjoy all of it, as it won’t end quickly. That’s what I want.”