Image © New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., Ltd.

After a little bit of an absence, I’m back with a translations of the newest episode of Ibushi’s NJPW mobile site-exclusive podcast, “Ibushi’s World”, featuring commentator Murata Haruo.

As always, [] are annotations by the translator. The original content is © New Japan Pro Wrestling.

The episode opens with Murata and Ibushi talking about how it’s been a while since the last time, and Murata asks how Ibushi has been doing lately, but he just says that he’s been doing normal everyday stuff.

Murata then asks about the state of his injury. Ibushi states that he’s meeting with his trainers and following the rehabilitation. He says he’s at about 70-85%. Murata says he’s at a good pacing with that, and recaps older episodes where Ibushi stated that his shoulder is doing better and better, and that he has started weight and ground training on the mat. He asks Ibushi where he is right now in terms of condition compared to before.

Ibushi says that with weight training, he isn’t yet at 100%, since his right shoulder tires sooner than his left, and he thinks it might still be weak. When he moves it around it still hurts, but he usually stops before it starts hurting. He isn’t yet using heavy weights, but he is doing weights with the shoulder as best as he can without overexerting it. Murata says it’s about when he can do practice in the ring again [and from then on he’ll be fit to return to wrestling]. Ibushi stresses again that he’s not aiming at a certain return/healing time, but that he’ll be ready when he’s ready.

The topic shifts to Ibushi having gained some weight, as he posted on Twitter he’s now at 100 kg. They talk a bit about a part of Ibushi’s tweet that referenced his old dream of having a punching power of 100 kg. Ibushi says he just went ahead and tweeted the punching part without thinking too much about it, as that’s how Twitter is. Everyone just says what they want on there.

At any rate, weighing 100 kg is really bothering him. He’s never been at that weight before, or gained weight that quickly. In the past, 94 kg was his heaviest before. His physique has changed, too, especially his legs. He feels swollen, but guesses it’s probably water weight, since he can’t sweat it out as much. He doesn’t go to the toilet as frequently as he did, either. Murata asks if it might have to do with age, too, and they both feel entering your forties can bring a different metabolism with and make it harder to lose weight. However, Murata also states that he has the impression Ibushi’s training will allow him to lose the weight quickly again, and he brings up the jumping training he showed off on the New Japan Chanpion show. Ibushi agrees that usually, it would make him lose weight.

When Murata asks him if he’s been doing that specific set, he however says he can’t really do that one yet, and has only done it once [since getting injured]. Bumping, then getting up and jumping is still too hard on his shoulder, so he’s been doing a modified version of this training, and it’s rare that he does it. Ibushi asks that we wait for him until he can return to his usual training without restraint.

After the opening, the episode proper starts. The first topic is the story of how O-Khan saved a little girl from a drunkard physically harassing her, which became quite the news even outside of wrestling in the week leading up to the recording of the episode. Murata mentions that Ibushi replied to the news, saying that while O-Khan might be his enemy, he is the very image of a pro wrestler.

Ibushi goes on to explain that [O-Khan did] what he imagines a wrestler, a hero, would have done, regardless of who O-Khan is or represents in kayfabe. When asked if he’s had a similar experience, Ibushi says he hasn’t, although he has interfered before when people were on the verge of becoming too drunk or things looked like they would escalate. Murata interjects that Ibushi has also been a perpetrator of that himself, but Ibushi says that since he’s entered his thirties, he’s become more aware of stopping before drinking too heavily, and helps others, or at least aims to do that, because he’s had experience enough with getting very drunk.

Murata reads a question. It says that there are people who think that if they became strong wrestlers, they would be able to save and help people who get into trouble [like the little girl in the O-Khan story], and asks what Ibushi thinks about this. Murata interprets it as asking about situations where someone thinks, oh, I’m not a pro wrestler, but if I were, I would be able to save this woman…or something along those lines.

Ibushi says that, if it’s about seeing it on the news or similar, and not actually encountering it, it’s better not to think this way. If he himself actually encountered troublesome things happening, he would of course help and save the person. Murata asks what he would do about a quarrel between drunk people, and he says he would intervene if there were a third party in danger. If it’s just between the drunk people, he’d leave them alone.

Murata summarizes that’s what he’d do as Ibushi the person. Ibushi the wrestler recommends not falling into the vicious cycle of wishing one were stronger or better in order to help people. Murata mentions that there have been numerous wrestlers in the past who’ve stopped molesters or shoplifters, and recounts an experience he had a while ago about witnessing someone snatching a women’s purse away while riding a motorcycle. Murata says if he had had the speed to keep up with the motorcycle, he probably would have run after it, but that one needs to keep a cool head in situations like these. He reveals the question was from Mashimo [Kengo; long-time K-DOJO/2AW wrestler who also appeared for Union, New Japan, and in the Differ Cup which Ibushi used to also participate in]. He jokes that he can understand Mashimo’s desire to be [and be seen as] a hero, and they talk a bit more about how it’s difficult to judge when to use one’s strength and when not if you have it, and that O-Khan has a MMA background that allows him to incapacitate people if necessary, without punching or kicking them.

[I’m skipping a long part here of mostly Murata talking; I don’t feel like it matters much, and it’s annoying how much time this occupied on the already short episode]

They also joke about how it might have looked suspicious of O-Khan walking around eating pancakes. Murata concludes that it’s okay not to force yourself to help people, and Ibushi agrees.

They move on to listener questions. They thank the listeners for sending in so many questions this time. It asks why Ibushi hasn’t posted on Instagram lately, and if it has to do with him giving up on it or breaking his phone. Ibushi answers that, together with breaking his phone, he logged himself out, since he can’t remember his login info. The talk ends with them discussing if he should do TikToks in the mean time, (although Ibushi feels it’s for younger people and not really for him), and him promising to make a new account and try again. He also says he might do a TikTok (take this with a grain of salt).

Murata brings up how many phones Ibushi has broken or lost throughout the years, and he says it happens most often to him while he’s stuck in traffic and it falls out of the window, and gets smashed by the car. Also, it’s happened to him that he had it fall into the toilet, or slip out of his hand while he was watching stuff on YouTube, and Murata says you often hear of that happening to people.

Next is the second question. It asks about how lately on NJPW Strong, Tom Lawlor and Buddy Matthews and others have been using Kamigoe, and how these days, the people who use Kamigoe have increased not just in Japan, and how Ibushi feels about that.

Ibushi says first that it’s an original move of his, that he first used in 2017 against Tanahashi, but how it used to have no name when he used it in the same G1 before the match with Tanahashi. Murata recalls how he christened it “Bastard Knee” when he commentated at that time, and how he said that only Ibushi would be able to pull of a move that leaves the opponent utterly defenseless to a knee strike to the face. The “Bastard” comes from “Bastard Driver” (Ibushi’s reverse cradle spike piledriver).

Ibushi is glad that it has gained worldwide fame and use, however he feels like the real deal (how he does the move) is different. Murata asks how it is different, and he says that it differs in that [he] grasps the opponent’s arms, then pulls, then kicks them. Murata asks if Ibushi has ever taught someone the move, and Ibushi says he has, as a joke. He also taught it to Ishikawa Shûji [All Japan] asked him if he could use the move (the two often train together in the Secret Base), before Ibushi himself even used it for the first time in the G1. Ishikawa doesn’t use it as a finisher, though.

Ibushi talks about how in the past, Super Sasadango Machine asked him to sell him a move for 25,000 Yen per [about $200], and he did sell him three spots for 75,000 Yen in total [about $600]. Ishikawa did not pay Ibushi 25,000 Yen to use his Kamigoe (yet). Murata jokes how it’s like a mobile game where you can buy moves to stock up your characters, and how Mutô also used to sell Shining Wizard per spot for 2000 Yen [about $16], because he claimed he had come up with the move.

Lastly, Murata also mentions how the Young Bucks have been using a double modified Kamigoe in the form of the BTE Trigger. Ibushi asks if they both go for the front, but Murata explains it’s done to the sides of the head. He also briefly mentions the Golden Trigger, into which Kamigoe was also remixed, and that Tanahashi has also used Kamigoe in the past. He hokes that he should pay Ibushi 25,000 Yen for that, and Ibushi says that since he used to look at Tanahashi as his god, and that without him the name wouldn’t exist at all, only he can use it for free.

Ibushi goes on the say that he an’t sell the Phoenix Splash cause it’s not his original move (he adapted it from Hayabusa). Concerning just his original moves, it’s Kamigoe, Phoenixplex, Schoolboy Suplex, Moonsault Moonsault, Phoenix-style rolling senton he doesn’t use anymore, and Golden Star Press. Murata jokes that he should be selling his Schoolboy Suplex for 25,000 Yen, but Ibushi thinks he should sell it for 50,000 Yen instead. The episode ends when Murata summarizes once more that the Kamigoe is spefically taking the arms, then pulling, then kicking, and that for anyone who wants to use Ibushi’s moves, they can go ahead and ask him to sell the moves to them, and recommends using the podcast’s mail form to contact Ibushi.