All texts and photos © their respective owners.

As always, my annotations are in [], and additional explanations will be provided where I can.



1/4 2014

(image: Matsui Yukinori)

Today, I went to New Japan’s Dome show.
Oh wow, there were so many people there!

It’s not like I didn’t think about how we could possibly measure up to the performances and matches and such, but the size of the crowd, that’s the part that’s just no use [fussing about].

Looks like DDT’s [first] Dome [show] is still some time away…
But even apart from that, the scale [of everything] was just on a completely different level.

Ibushi defeated Devitt, and was able to get his hands on the IWGP Junior belt once more!
I was turning pale with fear during the repeated interferences by Bullet Club that I can only describe as nasty, especially that power bomb Ibushi ate from Anderson on the apron…
But as you’d expect, even though Ibushi seemed to be stunned for a moment, he boasts a monstrous-sized neck, so he immediately came back from the dead.
In the end, he put [Devitt] away with a Phoenix [Splash], and won the belt back for the first time in 9 months.
Through this and that, it was very exciting.

I’ll work hard this year as well [so we] can catch up with and overcome Japan’s biggest wrestling company!



1/9 2014
Prince Devitt vs Ibushi Kôta

(image: D・PANPA)


IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match (60 minutes, 1 fall)


* Devitt lost on his 5th defense, and Ibushi became the 67th champion.

Brief summary: Taking the entire industry into account, I think these two rank among the top of the current juniors, and it’s a fact that there’s no current matchup that can surpass theirs. Just the fact alone that they clashed at the Dome over and over, made this a historic match. They fought many times in the past, but I think it almost felt like a first clash type of deal, [because] Devitt had brought out his utmost wickedness since the creation of Bullet Club.

Devitt is such a pro! It’s the ideal to create a different atmosphere even if the match-up is the same. He looked so cool in that horror form of his. That was incredible! When he came out of his coffin and it was on the beat of his Real Rock ’n’ Rolla theme…Holy shit. I wanna see that again. Would have loved to take a picture up close. He looked like a Hollow from BLEACH1.


(image: D・PANPA)

After the match, a mysterious masked man2 appeared, gave Ibushi a bouquet of black flowers, and left without saying a word.


Ibushi (while catching his breath): “I got the belt that I had always wanted. Wow…(Devitt) was more evil and stronger than ever, he’s the best right now. But I’m not sure who this (masked man who came into the ring) at the end was. I’m curious.”

Did the mysterious masked man at the end tell you something?
Ibushi: “I didn’t understand.”

So it wasn’t in Japanese?
Ibushi: “It was, I think, but…”

Please tell us how you felt before this match against Devitt, who had completely changed from one year ago.
Ibushi: “I think our last singles match was three years ago? Two years? We fought in the triple threat at last year’s Dome, but it wasn’t a singles match. (I know) his true strength in a singles match. I have had many experiences as well. He was strong, but I’m glad I ended up winning.”

Before the match, there was a comment that you would “drag the corrupted Devitt back into your world a bit”, what do you think about that?
Ibushi: “There was a lot of interference today, but I think I was able to give him a fierce fight like in the past.”

How do you feel about getting the IWGP Junior belt back?
Ibushi: “It feels great.”

You’re curious about the mysterious masked man. Did you want him to challenge you?
Ibushi: “It seems like he did. But I couldn’t understand what he said. But he pointed to the belt. He was probably saying he wants to challenge me.”

He gave you a bouquet of black flowers. How did you feel when you got those?
Ibushi: “I was scared.”

There were a lot of cheers for you in this large crowd. We would like to hear your thoughts about that.
Ibushi: “I said this before, but it was amazing.”

Now that you have signed with New Japan, what are your intentions for the development of “Ibushi’s world” from hereon in?
Ibushi: “I’ve got the belt now, so I think there will be a lot of defenses, and at the very least I want to keep the belt for a year.”

So you plan on being at the Tôkyô Dome next year as champion?
Ibushi: “Yes.”

In the summer there is the G1 as well, are you thinking of being in that too?
Ibushi: “I’m ready for it if I get the offer.”

So we can expect you to get stronger?
Ibushi: “Yes.”

The last time you had to vacate the belt due to injury. Is there a different implication getting the belt this time?
Ibushi: “Last time I had to vacate, but this time I definitely don’t want to vacate due to injury. That’s all.”


(image: D・PANPA)


1 This type of enemy in the multimedia franchise BLEACH is created when humans transform into something monstrous and grotesque, often with a white mask as the centerpiece of the design, reminiscent of Devitt’s facepaint.
2 i.e. El Desperado.


1/11 2014
Union Today!

(image: Matsui Yukinori)

Today at 6:30 pm was the first Union show of the year in Shinkiba!


The picture is of the Golden Star, winner of the Best Bout Award.
What does he have his sights set on this year?


BBM [excerpt]

1/26 2014
[…] Two Guns Demand Rematch, 2/2 in Nagoya

After the match, when Ibushi and Kenny went to take the belts, Isami came closer: “Hey, give them back!” Ibushi refused, [saying,] “I’m not giving them back…I’m not giving them back…”

Not giving up, Isami clung [to the belts, saying,] “Give them back now! Give them back right now! (to Takeshita and Endô who were slowly approaching) “Wait!! You two are incredible…but give [the belts] back!”

Miyamoto: “Isami, we lost. We lost today’s title match. But we didn’t lose, did we?”

Isami: “I mean, you just said we lost. [But] we didn’t take the three-count. So hand them over! I know the rules. But hand them over!” (Ibushi [and Kenny] refuse, understandably) “Okay, I get it. Let’s do it one more time!”

Even when GM Amon cut them off, Two Guns didn’t leave. When Isami had to abandon the hope for a rematch on the same day after all, he demanded a quick rematch: “In that case, as soon as possible! When will the next [show] be?” A title match on 2/2 in Nagoya was forcibly set.

When Two Guns left, Kenny grabbed the mic and ended [the show] there: “We won the threeway today, but the Yankees didn’t lose, so I think we can have a rematch. I’m a bit tired, so I want to wrap this up, but I want good challengers, so let’s do it.”


Kenny: “It was good, it was good.”

(With this, you’ve become double champion, [how do you feel about that]?)
Ibushi: “All of it makes me happy. When was [the rematch] again?”
Kenny: “Next week?”
Ibushi: “February 2nd.”

(It’s been a while since you won [the KO-D Tag Team] belts, [how do you feel]?)
Kenny: “It’s been a little while. It feels like it’s been forever. But on the American indies, these are famous rules, but Ibushi isn’t that [good with] threeway rules, so next time, in Nagoya, it won’t be under threeway rules.”

Ibushi: “We’ll have a rematch with normal tag [rules].”

Kenny: “If anyone has a problem with that, then I don’t want to fight that team. Yankee Two Guns have a strong spirit.”

Ibushi: “[We’ll] settle the score.”

Kenny: “We felt the same way two months ago, but we’re always good with a rematch, I think. If it’s a rematch soon, then of course the Golden☆Lovers are going to defend.”

Ibushi: “We’ll defend.”