A top NJPW star has revealed what he believes matters in wrestling and the new generation of wrestlers are lacking.
2023 has seen SANADA finally climb through the ranks of New Japan Pro Wrestling after years of struggling to win the big one.
The former Los Ingobernables de Japon member did just that when he left LIJ, joined “Just Five Guys,” won the New Japan Cup tournament and then defeated Kazuchika Okada to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis.
This year has also seen change in NJPW with several young stars rising and making a name for themselves. Most recently, the company anointed Shota Umino, Yota Tsuji and Ren Narita “The Reiwa Three Musketeers.”
Speaking with Rolling Stone Japan (via Andrew Thompson of POST Wrestling for the translation), SANADA mentioned The Reiwa Three Musketeers and praised the trio before noting that their new generation lacks sex appeal. The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion said:
“I have high expectations for the Three Musketeers… I really have high expectations for them. They are the future of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Yes, that’s right (I am going to show the difference between them & I).”
“That generation still lacks sex appeal. Well, it can’t be helped in terms of their careers. I feel there is a difference.”
“I feel that sex appeal is more important than how well they play the game. It’s more about attracting attention. I think that’s why there are no popular guys in that generation.”
SANADA defeated “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door. He reflected on the trip to America for Forbidden Door and a conversation with CM Punk, which you can read here.
At the time of this writing, SANADA is currently competing in the A Block for the G1 Climax 33 tournament.
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