Eddie Kingston wants to live forever by participating in the G1 Climax Tournament.
Eddie Kingston bears his soul in everything he does in professional wrestling. It is part of what connects professional wrestling fans to his journey on such a deep level. A huge part of that journey and Eddie Kingston’s love of professional wrestling is his fondness for Japanese wrestling. Kingston has openly admitted that he takes a lot of his move set from top Japanese stars such as Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, and others.
In a new interview with Sean Ross Sapp, Kingston further explains his love of Japanese wrestling and how he feels about the working relationship between AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling ahead of the Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26 and his upcoming match against Tomohiro Ishii at NJPW STRONG Capital Collision.
“I don’t think people fully understand. Yes, my favorite wrestling was All Japan during the 90s. But I watched New Japan as well,” Kingston explained. “‘Cause I remember the Three Musketeers. I remember Keiji Muto, aka the Great Muta, who was the first Japanese wrestler I ever saw. Then, of course, there’s Masahiro Chono. I thought the STF was the deadliest move in the world. I remember Jim Ross screaming about it on commentary and Chono learned it from Lou Thesz. That’s a name you know, even if you have never seen him wrestle. But you know the name. Then you had Shinya Hashimoto, who was just a badass. He was my personal favorite.
“I know the history and it means a lot,” Kingston continued. “That’s why I mentioned Tenryu and Riki Choshu to Ishii, to let him know, ‘I know who trained you, dog. I watched them. I studied them as well. So I know who they are.’ I know the history. That’s why wipe my feet, of course, and I give a kiss to the logo in the middle of the ring—take my hand, put a little kiss on it. out of respect. It feels great. All that political stuff, I didn’t see it. As soon as I was able to work with AEW, and I was lucky enough and blessed enough to do it, STRONG hit me up a couple of weeks later and AEW, even before this working relationship, was like, ‘Yeah, okay. Do it.’ So I never saw all the political side. But for those that did, sorry. Now you don’t have to see it.”
Speaking more directly about the Forbidden Door event and concept, Kingston size that in his two decades in wrestling, he has never seen promotions come together the way so many have in recent years.
“It’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling. In my twenty-year career, I have never seen it like this where everybody’s working together,” he said. "There’s no political B.S. where, ‘I don’t like this person because of whatever.’ It’s, ‘Oh, you want to do the show? Fine, go make your money’ or ‘That’s a really good match-up. Maybe we can show it here.’ Everybody’s starting to work together, which is what I thought wrestling was. Remember, I’m an 80s baby. So I grew up at the tail end of the territories. So I saw, at one point in time, all the territories trying to work together to beat Vince. So I thought that’s the way it was supposed to be. Not to beat Vince, but to work together and have more places to work. I think it’s great. I’ve never seen it like this.”
Kingston did not want to overthink about his potential position on that card on June 26 because he isn't sure if you will even be booked yet. However, he does name a dream opponent from Japan that he would like to face, Jun Akiyama, who although he was never one of the four pillars of AJPW in the 90s, was always across the ring from Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Akira Taue, and Toshiaki Kawada, and eventually made a major name for himself when NOAH was formed in the early 2000s.
Kingston also said he would like to face Hiroshi Tanahashi or Yuji Nagata, if given the opportunity.
“Well, I already have Ishii at STRONG. So, that was number one for New Japan [Shin Nippon Puroresu]. Hopefully, I said it right. Ishii was the guy," said Eddie. "Tanahashi, to me, saved puroresu at one time. Especially for New Japan. Of course, him. Nagata, of course, ‘cause when that whole run he had with the IWGP title going sixty [minutes] with Chono and other matches, facing off against the shooters during a time period that was a little rough. But he was in there. He was a warrior. But for Forbidden Door, I don’t know if it can happen, but if we talk about the Forbidden Door, it’d be Akiyama. I know he doesn’t work with New Japan or he’s not with them, I know he’s with DDT, but Forbidden Door, right? That’s what everybody [is]."
For now, Eddie remains hopeful that he will be on the card which will emanate from Chicago's United Center.
“Yeah, again, I don’t know anything about that. I just say, ‘Hey, this is my dream match’ or ‘Hey, this is the dude I want to work with.’ Either Chris Daniels comes back to see me and says, ‘Tony says no’ or ‘Tony said yes’ or Tony, when he gets excited, he’ll tell me yes,” he said.
Of course, actually wrestling in Japan again remains a huge goal for Eddie Kingston who has not been in Japan in over a decade. During the interview with Sean, Kingston took the time to say that he wants to compete in the G1 Climax tournament, as he sees that tournament as his chance to live forever.
“Yeah. The last time I was in Japan was in 2011 for Osaka Pro, at the time," he recalled. "Yeah, G1 has always been a goal. I was talking to somebody the other night, it was a youngin’ in the locker room—I’m not gonna say who—but I was trying to explain that when I broke in my biggest goals were ECW, right before they closed; All Japan, at the time, before the NOAH split; and then New Japan and I wanted to be in all the tournaments. So, of course, the G1’s always a goal. If not this year, then it’ll be a goal next year. For me, personally, the competitor in me, it’s not just about being invited to the G1. It’s about actually winning. Not just doing good. Not just making it to the finals and other people would be happy about that. No, I’m trying to live forever. I’m trying to have my legacy live forever, so I’m trying to win the whole thing. So G1. There’s your answer. To anyone listening—G1! Let’s go.”
For now, Eddie Kingston turns his attention to Tomohiro Ishii and their match at NJPW Capital Collision on Saturday, May 14. You can view the updated card here. Fightful will have coverage of the event on Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. ET