Superstar Minoru Suzuki recently interview with NJPW to talk about his upcoming title showdown with Jon Moxley for the IWGP United States championship at New Beginning. Suzuki begins by claiming Moxley only stands out do to his former affiliation with WWE, and how he cannot grapple like the wrestlers in Japan can.
He's a guy who stepped in my house and didn't take his shoes off at the front door," Suzuki said. "The 'former WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose.' Changed his look up a bit and here he is. Look, I've been watching him for a while, yeah. Can he grapple? No. Is he strong? No. Tough? No. He can't do s---. Not. s---. But that's created a spot for him. ... It's a bit of a paradox, but it's because of that he got chances in WWE. There's nobody else like him, right? Nobody in the majors in America is like him. So, he stands out.
More notably...Suzuki says WWE has yet to be able to set up a brand in Japan, much like they did in the United Kingdom, because Japanese fans appreciate and support authentic Japanese wrestling. He also mentions that Mexico is another stronghold that the company from the west has yet to conquer.
Japanese wrestling. Particularly Japanese. Proprietary Japanese. I get this is for NJPW's site, so maybe you don't know, or don't want me saying, but WWE are the biggest promotion in the world, right?" Suzuki began. "And they want to blend all of the world's wrestling together, fold it all in. They're going into all these countries, buying up promotions, snatching away talent, and sapping the business there. But the one place they haven't been able to do that yet? Japan. Japan and Mexico are the only places that have carried a strong sense of wrestling culture that was uniquely theirs. Business is down in Mexico. WWE are getting their claws in there, too. But they haven't come here yet, because Japanese wrestling has too much presence. Uniquely Japanese wrestling does.
Suzuki says the moment that Japanese wrestling starts to become "untrue," WWE will swallow the territory like it has everywhere else.
That unique Japanese wrestling is something that Rikidozan made, 50, 60 years ago. It used to be about two massive giants throwing hands, made into a show. But the basis of everything, absolutely everything is combat. Fight. Martial arts. That's Japanese pro wrestling. That's something only Japan has been able to maintain and protect. Now, you look at NJPW today. There are guys that fly. Tag teams with elaborate combinations. Guys with female managers. Guys who are fair, guys who cheat, but they all, all represent Japanese professional wrestling. You can try and deny that, but I think it will always be true. The moment it stops being true, WWE will swallow everything up here. And in all of that, what I've just said, the one, single person that doesn't just know about all this, but has been about all this—is me.