NJPWs Shingo Takagi discusses favorite match, inspirations

(New Japan Pro-Wrestling) NJPWs Shingo Takagi conducted an interview with his company recently. In that interview, Takagi answered questions submitted by fans about a wide variety of subjects.

Takagi spent the bulk of his career wrestling for the Dragon Gate promotion, before moving to NJPW in 2018. Once there, he became the newest member of the Los Ignobernables de Japon (LIJ) stable, led by current IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito.

As part of LIJ, Takagi has enjoyed incredible success. He went on an undefeated streak for eight months, before losing his first match in the finals of the 2019 Best of Super Juniors tournament. That match, in which Takagi fell to Will Ospreay, was a critical masterpiece and many called it the pro wrestling match of the year in 2019.

Below are some highlights of the questions he answered:

On what he thinks was his best NJPW match to date:

“Definitely June 5, 2019, the Best of Super Juniors match with Will Ospreay sticks with me. I’d been undefeated in eight months. Certainly the result wasn’t what I had envisaged, but it changed my viewpoint to become an openweight wrestler and then a true heavyweight.”

On which match influenced him as a wrestler:

“I remember being a school kid and watching Mitsuharu Misawa beat Stan Hansen with one elbow. That was in AJPW for the Triple Crown August 22, 1992. Of course I wanted the Japanese guy to win. It was also a smaller guy being able to beat a giant like Hansen. Like, you can push past physical limits if you try hard enough. That’s the match that really drew me into this world. There’s the cliché of mind over muscle. Misawa was that against Hansen.”

NJPWs Shingo Takagi

On why he doesn’t use his ‘Made in Japan’ finisher in NJPW that much:

“I wanted to keep that move in my back pocket, so to speak, just to pull it out when absolutely necessary. Thing is, I hit it on Ospreay and still lot. That’s what I mean when I talk about how amazing Ospreay is; he literally got 100% of me and was still able to win.”

on his plans to challenge for the Intercontinental and Heavyweight titles:

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, but I really don’t think there’s any need for disruption within LIJ at the moment. LIJ has seven belts right now. I don’t recall any other faction ever being able to pull that off. I wrestle for myself and for my team; I have lots of personal pride and want what I want, but there’s no reason to wreck a good thing right now.”

You can see more of the Q&A by clicking here.