Jushin Liger speaks on his feud with Minoru Suzuki.
For the better part of 2019, superhero Jushin Liger engaged in a war with the villainous Minoru Suzuki. The feud saw Suzuki draw out Kishin Liger in one of the most memorable moments of the year. The feud culminated at NJPW King of Pro Wrestling where Suzuki defeated Battle Liger. After the match, Suzuki threatened to add insult to injury by grabbing a chair, but instead bowed to Liger as a sign of respect.
"I saw him move toward me with the chair. I was laying there and thought ‘man getting hit with that is gonna suck’, but then he disappeared from my view, and nothing happened," Liger told NJPW. "I thought it was a case of the samurai showing mercy to his fallen foe. Then I heard this big reaction from the crowd and I’m lying there going ‘what the hell is going on? I can’t see a damn thing, I can’t move here’ (laughs)."
After the match, Liger thanked Suzuki. Elaborating on his reasons, Liger said, "At the end of the day Suzuki and I both did our learning in the ‘Fujiwara Dojo’. Our roots are the same, and to an extent I understand where Suzuki was coming from arguing about me going quietly into retirement. But to get me to that singles match, man he made my blood boil. I felt before that Ryogoku match, more than a wrestler, I had been seen as this kindly old man figure because I was retiring. Pro wrestling is combat, though, and if you’re not in that mindset then there’s no point in being in the ring. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit vexed, that Suzuki carried me so completely in the palm of his hand. But he understood just who Jyushin Thunder Liger is, and he lit a fire under my ass, too. That’s why I thanked him on the mic, perhaps."
For his match against Suzuki, Liger reprised Battle Liger, the seldom-used alter ego.
"For me it was a simple enough choice; Suzuki had grabbed at the horns on my mask during the preliminary matches, so I figured it would be better to get rid of them."
Liger is set to have his retirement match at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
You can read Fightful's retrospective on the Liger vs. Suzuki feud by clicking here.