Liger: When was the last time we met?

Hayabusa: I think we met briefly when New Japan toured WCW in Florida (May 1996).

Liger: Oh, really? I thought that was a week ago. (Laughs) It's all a blur to me these days.

Interviewer: So, if I had to make a theme for this conversation, it would be reunion.

Liger: 1st J-Cup (Ryogoku, April 16, 1994)...that was awesome.

Hayabusa: In the end, I have to start the conversation from there. That was 11 years ago, and it brings back nostalgic memories.

Liger: Wow, 11 years? (Laughs). I don't even know what year it was held. I am not interested in things once they are over. (laughs).

Hayabusa: I just happened to have a chance to watch the video of it the other day.

Liger: How is your body doing these days?

Hayabusa: It's really getting better little by little compared to what it used to be. Recently, I've been practicing walking with a walker. I would like to make it easier to move around by the end of this year. There's no point in being in a hurry.

Liger: Yes, that's right. Gradually, gradually.

Hayabusa: But that doesn't mean it's impossible. It's still too early to give up.

Liger: How old are you?

Hayabusa: I'm not young.... I'll be 37 this year.

Liger: You look so young (laughs).

Hayabusa: It's been three and a half years since I got injured, so considering that, I think I'm doing pretty well. The first three months after the injury...I had no feeling in my whole body. The doctor told me that if I hadn't changed after three months, I should assume that I was still the same. After three months, I started to be able to move.

Liger: You are a phoenix, after all.

Hayabusa: I don't know if I was happy to be told this, but the doctor told me, "After all, pro wrestlers are amazing because of their original physical strength. I thought it was that kind of problem.

Liger: What kind of problem is that? (Smile)

Hayabusa: I think this is more a matter of spirit than physical strength.

Liger: You have a desire to be healed.

Hayabusa: You say it as wanting to heal...I don't know how to say it...In a good sense, I can't give up, I am not a quitter. (laughs)

Liger: In terms of his feelings, I had a brain tumor and a broken leg, but it's all about feelings. Wrestlers have a strong desire to get into the ring no matter what kind of injuries they have.

Hayabusa: I said, "I want to come back here one more time..." when I was injured and I thought I might die in the ring. I was just trying to be cool, you know.

Liger: Then you have to keep your promise.

Hayabusa: You will have to be there with me then.

Liger: Please, by all means. But as you can see, I'm doing something rather evil right now (laughs). I'm not sure if we can stand in the same corner.

Interviewer: You still wear Red and White, correct?

Liger: Yes, that's right. I wear black when I am in New Japan, but the other day, I felt something different in my heart when I went to another organization, so I wore red and white.

Hayabusa: In a few years, please.

Liger: And before I retire (smiles)

Hayabusa: Please extend your retirement until then. In a way, the ring is the hardest place to be, but it's also a nostalgic place. It's a place that holds a special place in my heart. Whenever I notice it, my mind goes there.

Liger: Yes, that's true. It's a place where you can express yourself and draw pictures. From those who express themselves to those who go on stage to express themselves...I think we are expressing our intentions through wrestling. To put it in a cool way, it is a proof that we are alive.

Hayabusa: I have really risked my life in a sense. I don't want to absolutely deny that, and I don't want to think about it. It's not that I haven't thought about how I wish I could just disappear. But in the end, the ring is the only way. So now I write songs and sing them. I think that's one way to express yourself.

Liger: Oh, I see. Songs are universal. Wrestling has been to many places, but it is also common. No matter the language, no matter the lifestyle, songs resonate with me, and I get excited when I see them in wrestling.

Hayabusa: That's why when it comes to singing, there are things I felt through wrestling. That's where the song came from, after all. If I had not been a wrestler, I probably would never have written a song. If I hadn't gotten injured, I probably wouldn't have done it. In that sense, I can now be thankful even for the injury that gave me such a chance.

Liger: You have a big heart. I've been so angry lately, and I don't like it. So when I hear that, it makes me think how open-minded you are and makes me learn a lot from you.

Hayabusa: Going back to the J-Cup story, if I hadn't had the opportunity to fight with Liger, I probably wouldn't have had the chance to compete in Japan wearing a mask.

Liger: That's not true.

Hayabusa: No, it's true. I didn't want to wear the mask in Japan, but only while I was over there (in Mexico). Then, I went back to Mexico right after the match with Liger. I was told, "You're getting a lot of publicity in Japan." Before that, I was told I could choose because it didn't matter either way, but then I was told, "Next time you come back, you definitely have to come back wearing a mask" (laughs).

Liger: You have to change (laughs).

Hayabusa: That's right. (laughs) So when I had my first match with Mr. Liger, I felt like he really went along with me. I was so happy that Mr. Liger accepted me. But I'm doing my best just for myself. It was something that Hayabusa was born with, so I continued it after that. If it doesn't work, it will fail when I come back from overseas. The disfigured skin will come off. The audience is honest, and since they are paying to see the show, they immediately turn away from boring things. The fact that there are still people who support me is definitely there. It's not because of anyone, but at that time, I was proud that I did my best at that time.

Interviewer: Do you remember when you were hit by the shooting star?

Liger: Reverse shooting. Oh, it was good (laughs). It was beautiful (laughs). I actually didn't have time to do it, but I remember it flying at me. Boom! What made you do it?

Hayabusa: When I was in Mexico, Kanemoto kept threatening me that if I wrestle a bad match, he would crush me.

Liger: You know, even though he's a babyface wrestler and shakes peoples hands. That guy can be a bastard.

Hayabusa: He said it happily. He told me about 10 times he would me crush me (laughs)

Interviewer: But the J-Cup was an unconventional project in those days.

Hayabusa: Because back then, there were no interpromotion tournaments. It was a great opportunity for wrestlers from other organizations to compete.

Liger: It is said that I was the one that initiated the event, but I wasn't. We held a round-table discussion for a magazine, and everyone said that they had seen the Dream All-Star match on August 26, 1979 when they were kids, and they wanted to do something like that, so we decided to do it.

Hayabusa: Hmmm, but I don't think it would have been possible without Mr. Liger saying I want to do it! I think everyone wanted to do it but it was Liger's presence as a big reason why we they were able to make it happen.

Liger: I think New Japan had enough time to listen to me, in many ways (laughs).

Interviewer: The wrestlers were all there. They were first-rate, or they have become first-rate since then.

Liger: Oh, right.

Hayabusa: Me, Sasuke, and Gedo all received a very good evaluation at the J-Cup. It was the catalyst for our growth.

Interviewer: The same for TAKA.

Liger: Choshu asked "is that guy an alien?"

Hayabusa: That's why the name of his move became the alien plancha, right? The guys who were in the show then are amazing now, aren't they? Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. They are at the top of their game over there. It would be very difficult to get that group of people together now.

Liger: That would be a tough one.

Interviewer: Changing the subject, I would like to ask you to talk about masks. What are your preferences for masks, what do you like about each other's masks, and so on?

Liger: What part do you think is good about mine? It looks like a beetle, doesn't it? (Everyone bursts out laughing) or like a cockroach because they are black.

Hayabusa: Mr. Liger's mask is ripped off all over the world, after all (laughs). But, as a masked man, you can't help but be imitated like Psicosis in Mexico there are plenty of mask with horns.

Liger: There are a lot of them  now. Before the Liger mask, there were none because they were considered dangerous.

Interviewer: There weren't many masks with protrusions. At best, it might have ears like a tiger mask. But the ones with horns... After Liger, the AAA wrestlers, they almost wore projectile type masks. It's like a liger cactus (laughs). All wrestlers go through a process of trial and error to get to where they are now, right?

Liger My very first mask did not have horns. It was a kind of simultaneous work with the Liger manga. It was not that I designed it. The manga is two-dimensional. I wondered how the person making the mask would express it in three dimensions. It took a lot of trial and error.

Interviewer: What did you think when you saw the angles when they came out?

Liger: At first, I was wearing a mask that looked like a cat or a tiger with only two horns. I wondered if I would be able to compete. The one for filming was huge, like Ultraman's father. Everyone thought I was going to fight with it, and I was like, "Am I really going to fight with this?" In reality, it wasn't that big, just a little bit attached. I didn't have any problems with it, so I decided to go all the way.

Hayabusa: Conveniently, there were seven different versions of them made. Wasn't there one with the side with the corner facing down?

Liger: Well, it's often said, but I'm not conscious of it at all. Because the person who makes it raises and lowers it and changes the color depending on the mood. That's why fans often ask me what version mask I am wearing is. I don't understand (smile)

Hayabusa: I understand that, and I do the design for the mask myself and work out the details until the finished product. But I don't care how many versions there are. As long as it fits my face, I'm happy with the final product. It's just a matter of making sure it matches my image.

Liger Yeah. That's what bothers me the most. When I am asked "what's the difference in the version of the mask I am wearing" and I have to ask them "which mask version am I wearing?" (laughs)

Interviewer: Did Hayabusa have flutter under his mask from the beginning?

Hayabusa: After I cut my hair. When I had long hair, it was just the same. When I cut my hair, I felt lonely around my neck.

Interviewer: Your mask was open from the top to reveal your head from the beginning, right?

Hayabusa: I always had an open head. There are more and more masks of this type now.

Interviewer: If you trace the base, it is similar to Mr. Liger's mask.

Hayabusa: Yes. If I want something to look original, I draw it and put on the mask. I was just trying to see how much I could bring out the Japanese or Oriental atmosphere while overseas. Mr. Liger emphasized the importance of how much you need convey to the audience when you can not convey facial expressions while wearing a mask.  what their facial expressions cannot convey because they are wearing masks. You said that is one of your skills and that you have to express your emotions with your body. I am always conscious of that. You have to express your emotions with your body instead. 

Liger:  I am a small person, so I try to stand out and stand out as much as possible.

Interviewer: Even in a big venue, if there is an audience. You can tell when Liger is mad at somebody.

Liger: In other words, you can express yourself silently. If you are going to express yourself silently than you might as well do it in the corner of some gym.

Hayabusa: Really, if you are going to be expressing your silently anyway, there is no need to be wearing something so hot and uncomfortable, if you don't mind my saying so.

Liger: I also can never see anything out of it (everyone laughs) it's true! Depending on the situation, I can't see the other person, so there are times when I fly on a hunch that they are close by, and sometimes they are not there. Oh no! I just fall with a bang.

Hayabusa: Mr. Liger, the mask obstructs the eyes, doesn't it?

Liger: The lights sometimes reflect off the mask and makes it hard to see. In some venues, the light is shined from an angle instead of from above, so when the light covers the mask, it becomes a straight line and you can't see anything.

Hayabusa: Taking advantage of this opportunity, if you have a mask that you would like to throw away, please let me know next time.

Liger: Ah okay. If you are okay with the black mask.

Hayabusa: Please write that down properly now. (laughs)

Liger: That's ridiculous. I collect masks too (laughs)

Hayabusa: If it's okay with you then....

Liger: We will need to trade masks (laughs)

Interviewer: What mask is Liger's most treasured mask?

Liger: Espectro Junior. The one with hair. I also like Rayo de Jalisco. The design is simple, right? After all, I ended up with Destroyer, El Santo, and so on.

Hayabusa: When I first saw Jalisco's mask, I thought he must have imitated Picasso's painting. I thought on my own that this was a combination of Picasso's face seen from the side and from the vertical. Then, when I realized what it meant, it was just lightning (laughs).

Interviewer: But it takes an artist to see it that way.

Liger: It is awesome, isn't it? You see, I'm learning. I'll write that down. I'll use it somewhere (laughs). I'll be the first to say that (laughs).

Hayabusa: Talking about these wrestlers makes me me think of my first match at Arena Coliseo. It was right after the J-Cup and Mr. Liger was also in Mexico as well. Since Mr. Asai was going to wrestle, everyone including Kanemoto went to the Coliseum.

Liger: Didn't you have a match suddenly decided?

Hayabusa: Mr. Asai came up to me and said "You can fight today." I said, "No, I don't have a costume."

Liger: Yes, Mr. Asai then said, "You can just wear baggy pants."

Hayabusa: No he didn't. Didn't you say that Mr. Liger? (laughs)

Liger: Possibly yes?

Hayabusa: When I told Mr. Asai what I could wear, he told me no, but then he said alright, but just don't let anyone know he knew about it.

Liger: Oh, I see, sorry (laughs). Then Hayabusa came out, so we all went up the aisle to get his autograph, and we were all making fun of each other (laughs).

Interviewer: Mexico is a special place for Liger, isn't it?

Liger: I can't leave Mexico out of the story of my life as a wrestler. I still think that Kotetsu Yamamoto was the one who picked me up.

Interviewer: How long did you stay?

Liger: I was there for a short time. I graduated from high school, got my driver's license, and then went over I think in April 1983? About a month after I arrived, things went smoothly. The guy from Mexico Tourism was a mah-jong friend of Gran Hamada-san, and he introduced me to him. Mr. Hamada told me that the New Japan team would be coming to Mexico in about a week. So he introduced me to Mr. Yamamoto. Yamamoto-san said, "Well, if you want to do it so badly... come on!"

Interviewer: From what I remember, the aerial move, Phoenix Splash was originally conceived by Mr. Liger, wasn't it?

Liger: I was thinking about it, but Hayabusa used it first, so I thought it would be fine. Originally, Mr. Sayama was practicing new wrestling moves on a blue safety mat at New Japan's dojo, as part of a magazine project. hmm? Was it for Gong?

Interviewer: That's right (1983 special edition "Aerial Battle").

Liger: Mr. Sayama quit before using it in actual competition. I was ready to use it, too, but I didn't use it because I thought it was better for Hayabusa because he was so much more beautiful. I have a lot of moves that I stole from that Gong magazine (laughs). Since the separate volume of Gong, there were dozens of pink pages with Mexican techniques in the appendix. I looked at them and studied them. I used my younger brother as a test subject.

Interviewer: That was the project "Mexican Killing Method 45: A Thorough Dissection of Unknown Photographs" in the May 1981 issue of the separate volume.

Liger: I still remember it. It was a great technique, like the inverted holds that one rudo would use, and he would bite his opponents toes and tighten them up, and it was amazing. I remember that kind of technique.

Interviewer: That's the Cavernaria of Carbenario Galindo.

Liger: Oh yeah, a guy called Galindo. He would always bite. It's totally against the rules. I can't do that. It would knock out my front teeth off. Like Ringo Mendoza's reverse surfboard.

Interviewer: Keiichi Yamada used it, didn't he?

Liger: I used to use it. So there are a lot of things I stole from that Gong magazine.

Interviewer: Oh I didn't know you got it from that.

Liger: Yes, yes (laughs). Gong is my master.

Hayabusa: But I practiced every day for half a year until I could do the Phoenix Splash properly.

Liger Half a year? I made the shooting star in one day.

Hayabusa: Shooting star is a one-shot deal, and you have to do it in one shot because you are afraid of the opposite. Mostly because the logic of flying forward and backward is strange.

Liger: It is a move that is very strange. Why are you flying forward and backwards? (laughs)

Interviewer: Isn't Liger the inventor of it? (laughs)

Hayabusa: In fact, the Shooting Star is definitely more difficult than the Phoenix or Firebird. Because when I was training with Chris Jericho in Mexico, he said, "Hayabusa, can you do the Shooting Star?" So I laid out the mat and showed him I could and said, "You should try it, too," and he said, "I tried it once in Canada and I failed and broke my hand."

Liger: Basically it's a move that doesn't make any sense. Would you go forward when you are back flipping?

Interviewer: How did you come up with it?

Liger: Manga. Fist of the North Star.

Hayabusa: That is with Rei of Nanto Suitori-ken, isn't it? I also have all my flying moves in mind of Rei from Nanto Suitori-ken. I wanted them to be beautiful like his.

Interviewer: Hayabusa practiced in the "Dragon's Hall" at Pista Revolution, right?

Hayabusa: At that time, I didn't have any money, so I tempted Mr. Asai. At the time, I was about to start training to do the Cancun Tornado (corkscrew moonsault), so Kanemoto and I kept trying to get him to buy a mat.

Interviewer: Ichihara was there too, and Chris Jericho.

Liger: Do young people today have that kind of thing? When we look back now, we can talk about how great it was to have such a group of people back then. When we went to Mexico, Hayabusa was there, Kanemoto was there, I was there, and Ultimo Dragon was there. That was a great group of people. I heard that there were so many people from all over the world, working in so many different styles. I wonder if there are no expeditions now.

Hayabusa: On the other hand, if you were in Japan, most of the indie players would be in the indies, and there was a time when that was the case.

Liger: I thought, "I've been through a lot in Mexico." I told them that I had a hard time in Mexico. It was sad I had a lonely experience. I was not able to eat well, and the transportation was very difficult. We had to move around a lot, and we had to ride in an old, old bus, belching out smoke.

Hayabusa: I wondered why I was breathing smoke when they were calling it a first class bus.

Liger: But now it's nourishment for me, and I've learned techniques. When Mexican food comes, it will lead to a wide range of things that can be handled. In that sense, I feel sorry for the young people of today.

Hayabusa: It's true that if you're in Japan right now, there are styles that match the American style, the Mexican style, and the Japanese style. However, there is a fundamental difference between going to the field and touching it and learning superficial techniques in Japan.

Liger: That's why the scale is getting smaller and smaller.

Hayabusa: Now, on the contrary, it may be easier to find a spot as a wrestler in Japan.

Liger: There are about 700 active wrestlers in Japan now.

Interviewer: About 750 people.

Hayabusa: To enter a dojo and I had to start off by squatting 1,000 times and then do another 1,000. I had to live a life of a lowly apprentice for the first two years. That doesn't mean they should have to do that, though. But it helped me gain a lot of experience in this field.

Interviewer: But there is no doubt that the threshold has been lowered tremendously.

Hayabusa: So, in a way, we're Mexicanizing it. It's foreignized.

Interviewer: In the old days, FMW had a difficult system, even for indies.

Hayabusa: But at that time, we were launching with indies, so I can't tell you how much I was hurt by Choshu-san's words hurt my heart (laughs). In the end, his comments about Atsushi Onita bounced back at us, and I felt extremely embarrassed. But that was a springboard for us. I tried my best not to be criticized. I hoped that when the time came, I would be recognized. Even though I wasn't on the same level as Liger, I was able to show something in my matches, and I received a certain amount of recognition when I went up to All Japan, because I was working hard at that time.

Liger: I'm thinking about it right now, 750 people.... That's amazing. If you look at Gong's Pro Wrestling Directory, you don't know more than half of these people.

Interviewer: Same as the local Mexican wrestlers.

Hayabusa: Yes, that's true. Everywhere you go in the city, you will see factory workers wearing masks. Or the cab driver will come out wearing a mask. This is a common practice in Mexico. I think this is becoming the case in Japan as well.

Interviewer: Even so, even local wrestlers in Mexico can't enter the ring unless they have proper commissioners in each state and are authorized by them.

Liger: Japan doesn't have that so any guy can go do it.

Hayabusa: I guess the question is whether or not it is appropriate to stand in front of an audience as a professional, both technically and physically, and take their money...ultimately it is the audience's decision. It may be a bad way of putting it, but I think the audience tends to enjoy that kind of thing. As someone who has been injured in this way, I worry about that aspect of it. If you do it too easily, even if you don't get hurt, if you do it the same number of times, you have a higher chance of not getting hurt. I am really worried about that part. I love wrestling, so I don't want people to get injured in a wrestling match. If you get injured, you will just end up with the reputation that "wrestling is dangerous." That's not a dream come true. When we were young, we had such dreams about wrestling. I want pro wrestling to become the kind of wrestling that children can dream of once more. This is a heavy topic.

Liger: Why can't Japan establish a commissioner system? .....

Interviewer: It really should have been done earlier. We are not able to see the entire wrestling world only in terms of our own entertainment.

Liger: I've been doing this for over 20 years now, so I hear from a lot of different people every time. Then each individual all think something differently when it comes to wrestling. But then they slander those who disagree with them. Then they don't want to get together and have a heart-to-heart talk. They say, "I don't have to do that." Because we have always had that kind of structure, there will always be internal strife, and we can't even create a single commissioner. I really think that, in our case, Chono should be the one to lead the way. For Noah, it would be President Misawa, and for All Japan, it would be President Muto, and something like that needs to happen soon. Especially now, at a time like this, there has to be something solid, something like a thick pipeline. The reason why people go to the ring is because they love wrestling, and I think everyone is thinking about it. It is not a time like in the past when you could just put tickets in the wrestling guides and they would come in.

Interviewer: If there was no interaction between the groups, it would have kept its uniqueness, but considering that most of the dream matchups have been realized over the past few years, it might be more the right time to do so.

Liger: Now. After 20 years of doing this, I think it would be better to focus on that side of the business.

Interviewer: Mexico has a commissioner as a public agency of the government, so even if a person from one organization, for example, Mr. Chono, were to take the lead, it would be difficult if there were people who would oppose the idea. If this were true, Mr. Hase or Mr. Onita should approach the government and set up a foundation like a professional wrestling commissioner, and put their stamp on the license. Mexico puts its stamp on the license. Also, there could be a union of wrestlers and referees, and a percentage of the box office revenue could be used to cover the costs of injured wrestlers. That too is a public organization of the government.

Liger: Japan really needs to learn from these things. I am not the king of the mountain as I said before, but we should not say that Japan is the best. but we should absorb what we can learn from others. Next time, Mr. Gong why don't you take the initiative and gather the top people and have a talk about it?

Interviewer: I'm not saying that we should decide there, but rather that individuals should discuss such opinions with each other in a heart-to-heart manner. Ideally, this would improve the industry.

Liger: Yes, that's right. I want to do this, I want to do that. But that is also true for the wrestlers. Now there are 750 people who say, "I am a professional wrestler." In the past, if you wanted to become a wrestler, there was an entrance test. There were rules and regulations, and you couldn't enter, damn it. Nowadays, anyone can become a professional wrestler on the spot, so there are people who don't have much love or passion for wrestling...that's what I think.

Interviewer: I guess wrestlers should be the chosen ones.

Liger: I was talking with Makabe the other day, and he said that he had been training in the mixed martial arts called Sogo. But pro-wrestlers have to train their body of a pro-wrestler. Kotetsu Yamamoto once said, "You have to train in such a way that just by standing in the ring and showing your body," that the fans are paying 5,000 yen or 3,000 yen a ticket to see it.

If you build up your shoulder muscles too much or your arm muscles too thick, there are many situations where you are not suited for mixed martial arts. I'm short, so I can't grow vertically, so I wanted to be able to stand out and differentiate myself. 

Wrestling is wrestling. Wrestling has a body. It is true that it may be easier to pull out the shoulders and squeeze if the wrestler has slender shoulders and arms, but if that person walks down the street, people will never think, "Wow, he looks amazing, he must be a pro-wrestler."

He may be suited to the rules of the mixed martial arts, but he is not a pro-wrestler, much less a pro-wrestler who competes in wrestling. Mr. Yamamoto has been very strict with me about this. I think Makabe realized that very well. You can be more proud of being a pro-wrestler. I am a pro-wrestler. When you go to America, everyone is equal. I know that PRIDE and other professional wrestling tournaments may be getting the ratings now, but I don't feel guilty, but I think you should be more proud.

Interviewer: There may be a feeling that the industry as a whole been servile.

Liger: There is. The whole industry. Including the wrestlers and everyone involved. It's okay to be a pro wrestler. There was a program on Telemacho about how to think about pro wrestling. Minoru Suzuki was on there, and he said "I have been listening to what you have been saying, and I have heard that pro wrestling is definitely lagging behind K1 and PRIDE.  I don't like the fact that the discussion is based on that premise."

I also noticed at that time, but instead of denying the program because of that, the people involved, the professional wrestlers, have become servile, and we have to change that. A professional wrestler has the body of a professional wrestler, so that's fine. An athlete who won a gold medal in swimming at the Olympics can't win a gold medal in amateur wrestling. Because it's completely different. Judo and jujitsu have different rules.

Swimming and water polo are different. They are similar. They are played in the same pool. In that sense, pro-wrestlers shouldn't be so downcast. If I said that, you might say that everyone is just thinking what they want to think (laughs). But there's something about the atmosphere. When we were kids, wrestling wasn't a toy box.

Hayabusa: Wrestling is wrestling. It is a genre that is unparalleled.

Liger: Yes, that's right. It was interesting to see the toys being turned over and turned over, and there were toys like this and toys like that.

Hayabusa: Atsushi Onita once said that the world is like a circus hut, with all sorts of things. That's why Manabu Nakanishi is among them.

Liger: At this point, he's a "fighting fighter" (laughs). It's OK to be like Nakanishi.

Hayabusa: You are there because you are committed to it, so you have no right to be told what to do by others.

Liger: There's no need to be mean about it. And Nakanishi should just stand tall. He was working with Norton, and Tanahashi had a back injury, so he wanted Norton to do a Canadian backbreaker on him. So Nakanishi tried his best to say to Norton, "Give me a Canadian!" (laughs). We were in the second row, too, and said, "What?" (Laughs).

What do you mean when you say "give me Canadian"? Norton had been attacking Tanahashi's waist, but Nakanishi said "give me Canadian" so much that he must have heard it. His face suddenly went back to normal. Everyone laughed at that.

Hayabusa: That part of wrestling is part of wrestling. Then, if you ask if other martial arts people can do wrestling, I don't think they can ever do it. Pro-wrestling is pro-wrestling. Sogo is fine as Sogo. If you want to see Sogo, go to Sogo. Pro-wrestling has its own unique enjoyment. It is often said that there is a kind of disreputable, though I hate to call it that, but there is something about it. Also, love, courage, tears, emotion, and eroticism can be seen together in the ring only in pro wrestling. I was wondering what kind of rule is the "Liger Rules," where you are allowed to do something illegal up to a 4 count before you are disqualified?

Interviewer: This is the most dangerous rule.

Liger: This is a story about our company, but when I joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling, when they were talking about the strong style and how it had changed, there was certainly the buzz of young wrestlers like Mr. Takada and Mr. Yamazaki in the first match, and then in the second and third matches, there were matches in which Mr. Arakawa and Mr. Nagagen would let off steam, and the people involved would come out of the waiting room and laugh at them. Next, there was a match between Mr. Kurisu and Mr. Fujiwara, who were the middle-ranked wrestlers. And then there was Tiger Mask. Then, there was the battle between Choshu and Fujinami. And finally, Inoki-san comes out. It really is a box of toys. That's fine. There is no need to make them all the same color. I wonder what they are trying to do to unite them. So, it's not interesting to see, and there is no change.

Hayabusa: There are no more gaijin who look like a monster like there used to be in the past. In the information society, there are no more unknown gaijin, but there are also fewer people who look like monsters.

Liger: It's a wrestling ring, so what's the point of having someone who can't wrestle in it? I think that people who can't wrestle shouldn't talk about wrestling so highly. However, it is the color of New Japan that you have to show a fighting attitude, so while you can wrestle, how can you push your fighting spirit to the forefront? I understand that wrestlers who don't have that kind of spirit shouldn't be allowed to compete. You have to be able to wrestle, that's the minimum.

Hayabusa: Wrestling is based on martial arts to begin with. If you don't see the fighting spirit in it, it is not possible.

Liger: How much of that is blended is the color of each organization, and I think that's fine, but if you can't wrestle, you shouldn't be in the ring.

Hayabusa: When you get into the ring, you have to have the appearance of a wrestler. At the very least, you have to show that.

Liger: Then it is important for the commissioner to decide what to do about it. I think the press are passionate about it, and I think they would be happy to see the wrestlers put their hearts on the line.

Interviewer: I think we're getting to the point of finishing up.

Liger: Sounds good (laughs)

Hayabusa: I just hope that the wrestling world will move in a better way. I hope that by the time I return to the ring again, it will be in a better shape.