A number of NJPW wrestlers will be appearing with the daughter of Jumping Bomb Angel Itsuki Yamazaki translating for the American media. Yamazaki is in attendance as well. Tiger Hatori will be moderating the press conference.
New Japan Pro Wrestling President Naoki Sugabayashi thanked everyone for coming and officially began their press conference. He stated that all the stars of NJPW are very excited to be here and we know the fans are excited as well. They would like the tour to be a success and return next year, so he invited all the American fans to come to the shows and enjoy themselves.
They introduced Tiger Hatori, who was referred to as the Producer of the tour. He said that after the disaster in Japan, they need to have a lot of energy from NYC to Japan to help make it successful for everyone. He thanked JAPW Promotions for helping them with creating three sucessful days of events.
Ryusuke Taguchi said he was very excited to be in the United States and to wrestle here.
Tiger Mask said that while he's wrestled in the United States before, its the first time New Japan is here and he hopes the fans will enjoy the experience.
Jado said that he looks forward to showing the United States how amazing New Japan Pro Wrestling here. Gedo said that they have been partners for 20 years and they look forward to showing the American fans the power of their team.
They brought Jushin Liger to the dias, announcing that Liger will be defending the JAPW Light Heavyweight championship against Kenny Omega. Liger introduced himself and said he won the belt last year and he has brought it back to America to defend it. He said that he expects to bring the belt back to Japan. He said that even though he is in America, he is wearing his New Japan colors as he wants to show NJPW is in his heart at all times. He said that as a representative of NJPW, he wants to do his best. Liger was wearing a mask with long bright red hair.
Satoshi Kojima said that he is very excited that NJPW has come to the United States. He said that while he has been wrestling for a long time, he still wants to show his skills to the fans in America. He said that he will satisfy all the American fans with his performance and thanked everyone for coming.
Shinsuke Nakamura said that in his opinion, no one has his style of wrestling and wants to show America his original, strong style of wrestling.
They began taking questions to the press:
Liger and Tiger Mask were asked their feelings on being part in the tour and on being in the opening match of the card. Mask said that it doesn't matter what match they are in on the card because they can show their style in the ring. Liger said that he wants to win his match and retain his championship. Liger said that Homicide and Low Ki are good wrestlers but they are better and greater.
I then asked the panel what it meant to them to compete under the NJPW banner in the United States. Tiger Mask and Jushin Liger answered. Mask said that there is WWE and TNA in America but this is their chance to show the differences and the style evolution that the Japanese wrestlers have to offer the world. Liger said that everyone under the NJPW banner are amazing wrestlers and they all want to show the world their love of New Japan and that they want to satisfy the fans.
New Japan then brought in the next group of wrestlers. They showcased the IWGP Intercontinental championship and said they would have words from those competing in the tournament for the championship.
Hideo Saito said that he's wrestled in Puerto Rico and has won championships there, but after seeing the belt today for the first time, he'd like to win it and bring it back to PR, then take all of them back to Japan.
Kazuchika Okada said that he lost last year in the Toky Dome, so he wants to avenge that loss by winning the tournament and take the belt back to TNA.
Tetsuya Naito said that it's been two years since he wrestled in the United States. He said that everyone in Mexico knows his signature pose and he wants to show it to everyone in the States to know it as well. He said he would like to win the championship.
Yujiro Takahashi stated that he would like to bring the belt back to Japan, but also to have his name spread across the fans in America so he becomes more well known as well.
Toru Yano asked if America was listening, as he was going to show everyone what his style was going to be.
MVP said he doesn't need an introduction as he's half man, half amazing. He said that he likes to collect precious metals. He said he was a World Tag Team champions and the longest reigning U.S. champion in WWE history. He is all about making history. He said that NJPW is making history by running in America for the first time and the first IWGP Intercontinental champion is going to be crowned. MVP said that everyone is nervous because he's the home team. He said everyone is talking about what they would like to do. He said that he's going to keep the title here in the United States. He said he was going to teach everyone about ghetto strong style. He told everyone else competing it wasn't personal, but business. He promised that MVP was going to make history again because he's straight-up ballin'. He walked out of the conference, having made his point with a hell of a promo.
They opened the floor for questions.
They were asked if there are plans for the title to be defended internationally. Tiger Hatori said that once the first champion is crowned, they hope it will be defended in Japan, Korea, Australia and all over the world.
They brought in Togi Makabe, saying he would be competing in the main event of the Philadelphia event. He said that even though he is wrestling for NJPW, he...Rhino burst in and said that he was tired of Makabe talking sh** in Japan and . He said that everyone needed to talk about how Rhino was going to destroy him. Makabe said, "f*** you." Rhino said that Makabe is coming to his house and said that he hopes Makabe kisses his family goodbye because he's going to destroy him.
Rhino was forced out. The hotel thought the angle was a shoot and almost called the police.
Makabe was asked what the issue between he and Rhino was. He said they had no relationship but since he is the best at all styles, Makabe will show he is the best, period.
IWGP Heavyweight champion Hiroshi Tanahashi was brought in. They announced he would defend the championship against Charlie Haas in New York City. Tanahashi said that he is the Ace of Wrestling in Japan and is the proud holder of the IWGP title. He said that its the first time New Japan is wrestling here in America. He said that they are here as NJPW because they have shown Japan how powerful they all are and now they want to show the United States as well. He said that he will be defending his title against Charlie Haas but he is still vert excited. He said that all the wrestlers promise America with a high heart and high confidence that they will show them all what New Japan Pro Wrestling is.
Tanahashi was asked if this was the first time the belt will be defended outside of Japan. He said that it was defended once in America ten years ago with Scott Norton but he will be defending it here for the first time.
Tanahashi was asked about winning and holding the title.
They brought everyone, except Rhino, in for photos with the media as a group.
The press conference will be streaming live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jersey-all-pro-wrestling-live.
Fans can follow JAPW's Jonny D via Twitter for a chance to win backstage passes to each of the NJPW events at twitter.com/jonnydjap.
We will be doing live, ongoing coverage of the conference once it begins. PWInsider.com will also have live coverage of all three NJPW events this weekend.
The announced lineups for this weekend's events will feature:
Friday 5/13/11 in Rahway, New Jersey at the Rec Center
*The Strong Style Thugz, Homicide and Low Ki vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV.
*IWGP champion Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs. Rhino & Charlie Haas.
*IWGP Intercontinental championship Tournament: MVP vs. Kazuchika Okada.
*IWGP Intercontinental championship Tournament: Dan Maff vs. Toru Yano.
*IWGP Intercontinental championship Tournament: Tama Tonga vs. Tetsuya Naito.
*IWGP Intercontinental championship Tournament: Hideo Saito vs. Yujiro Takahashi.
*Satoshi Kojima vs. Kenny Omega.
*Eight Man Tag Team Battle: IWGP Tag Team champions Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson & Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Jado & Gedo & Davey Richards & Shinsuke Nakamura.
Saturday 5/14/11 in New York at Basketball City
*IWGP Heavyweight champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Charlie Haas
*IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki
*IWGP Intercontinental championship tournament Semi-Finals.
*Additional Matches to be announced.
Sunday 5/14/11 in Philadelphia at the Asylum Arena
*IWGP Heavyweight champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Davey Richards
*South Philadelphia Street Fight: Togi Makabe vs. Rhino
*JAPW Light Heavyweight champion Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kenny Omega.
*IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Low Ki & Homicide
*IWGP Intercontinental championship tournament final.
*Additional Matches to be announced.
Each of the events will feature pre-show meet and greets for fans holding golden ringside tickets.
The tour will end with a post-tour farewell party for the crew on Monday in New York City.
For ticket information on all NJPW East Coast Invasion events, visit www.JAPW.net.