Chris Bey wants to help mend fences between IMPACT and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview above), the IMPACT star shared details on his NJPW Super J-Cup invitation and coming to the realization that he could be pivotal in the two companies re-establishing a working relationship.
"Yeah. So, I was originally, when I was approached by New Japan officials, it was presented to me as I was reading the message and scrolling down, I’m saying like, ‘Yeah, this is a cool idea. But, I work for IMPACT! I don’t know if you know this or not, but I work for IMPACT!’ As I get to the bottom, ‘Yeah, we’ve already spoken with Scott and Scott’s cool with it.’ So, I’m like, ‘Oh, well. There it is, right there. If Scott’s cool with it, I’m cool with it. So, we’re going to make it happen.’ Then it dawned on me, ‘Man, not only am I participating in this prestigious tournament, but I also am going to be kind of that test to start rebuilding,’ like you said, ‘Rebuilding that bridge and that working relationship with IMPACT! and New Japan.’"
While Bey was grateful for the opportunity, he understands the weight of the situation and how it has the potential to impact countless others and create opportunities that would have otherwise not existed.
"So, to be that representative, for me, was almost cooler than being in the actual tournament because I know that, as much as I love to be like, “I’m Chris Bey and I want to be the World Champion and I’m going to be X-Division Champion again at Hard To Kill on January 16th,” as much as I love to be that guy. I love to be the guy who also helps more people get more opportunities. So, for me, if I’m gonna be the guy who helps build this bridge, now all these other great performers can go over there and do things with New Japan and live out their dreams and do stuff that’s gonna be not only very inspiring and very historical for their own life and their own personal goals, but build these dream match scenarios for fans. The fans can enjoy it and be like, ‘Oh, Ace Austin versus this person,’ or ‘[Rohit Raju] and this person,’ or ‘Eddie Edwards back over,’ or however it’s going to end up going.
It’s going to give people that opportunity to just create and do new stuff and do more stuff and I’m more about that than I am about my own selfish gain. So, when I realized that, okay, I’m going to be representing IMPACT! wrestling in this tournament. I’m like, ‘This is dope.’ Because if I do a good job, which I try to always do, try to do a good job, it can be the start of something beautiful again, you know? Providing more people that opportunity. So, I just was blessed with the opportunity to do it and I’m glad that the company has enough faith in me, that Scott had enough faith in me and New Japan wanted to have me and I would love to do it again."
Chris Bey lost in the semi-finals of the NJPW Super J-Cup to ACH. He will be in action at IMPACT's Hard To Kill PPV (January 16, 2021), where he and Rohit Raju will challenge for Manik's X Division Title in a three-way match.
The card is set to be headlined by a reuniting Bullet Club; Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Kenny Omega will square off against The Motor City Machine Guns and Rich Swann.
Fightful will have live coverage of the event.