Griffin McCoy Reflects On Facing KENTA, 'I Will Hear No KENTA Slander'

Griffin McCoy talks working with KENTA.

In December 2022, KENTA came to CZW to face Griffin McCoy in singles competition. Griffin is still young into his professional career, and had yet to break out in MLW when he stepped into the ring with KENTA.

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It was a rare US independent show for KENTA, but one that McCoy will never forget.

"I'm not going to lie. Two days before that...I'm a very confident guy. I work hard, and that's why I'm confident, I had a full blown panic attack two days before that match," Griffin told Jeremy Lambert & Joel Pearl on The Spotlight.

"I was up until one in the morning playing Spider-Man on PS4. As I was swinging through Manhattan, I got this insane feeling, like I was personally swinging through the streets. As the day came, a calm came. If I wasn't preparing for that match, I would be terrified. You need to have these feelings of intense anxiety. That goes back to the evolution of man, fight or flight. This is what a warrior feels before stepping into battle. This is what keeps you sharp. While they are terrible if you're not familar with them, the more you get familiar, the more you understand and start to feel, 'I'm about to do something epic.' That was the most intense I've had that feeling. That propelled me to have probably the greatest match of my young career.

"KENTA, we kicked the shit out of each other. He kicked me in the face so many times. After the match, I don't know if you can hear it on the audio, but he pulled me close and whispered, 'We're going to do this again soon. I'm going to see you soon. This is going to happen again.' He locked in with me, and we had this crazy moment. Doing my own thing, I patterned everything I did off him and I was dreading the day I had to wrestle him. 'I'll never wrestle KENTA, I can copy his style, I'll never wrestle him. He's in Japan. He's not going to come to America and come to New Jersey to wrestle me. Not in a million years.' Looking across the ring at him was insanely surreal. We had an epic battle. After that, the coolest dude ever. Really did not have to be as cool as he was. Very down to earth, cool dude, intense, a great guy. I'm forever in his debt. The further we move along, the more crazy it is that he put himself in the position to wrestle me. I was kind of coming up, but didn't have too much at that point. If it was now, it'd make a little more sense, but at that point, that was the catalyst. He gave me everything and he is the catalyst and reason I'm sitting here right now. He's the man. I will hear no KENTA slander, ever."

McCoy broke out in 2023, becoming a regular on MLW, GCW, and Wrestling Open as well as traveling overseas to hone his craft.

Fans can check out the full interview with Griffin in the video above.

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