Jushin Liger talks retirement.
On Mar. 6, the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger announced that he would be retiring at Wrestle Kingdom 14 at the Tokyo Dome. In a new interview with NJPW, Liger explained his philosophy behind his retirement.
"It was kind of, not really sudden, but a sense of ‘OK, then’. It just felt like the right time to put a full stop on things," said Liger. "I’m happy to hear [Togi Makabe thinks it's too soon], but truth is, you could see in Best of the Super Juniors this year just how deep the junior heavyweight roster is, and as far as in-ring is concerned, I’ve done everything I ever wanted to do. Plus, I think it’s important to bow out with the fans saying ‘why is he quitting now? He can still go!’ rather than laughing like ‘old man Liger is still going?’. This way is more dignified."
Liger continued, "All the guys before me, Antonio Inoki, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Riki Choshu, Tatsumi Fujinami, when the question comes to ‘what’s a key trait for a wrestler?’, my answer, and I’m sure that Makabe feels the same, is ‘a wrestler can’t become weak.’ As the years have caught up, I was starting to feel like I couldn’t wear that philosophy as a badge of honour anymore. After the match with Ishimori, all those feelings really hit. My wife said ‘it was your decision, so I’m not going to say anything’. But then she went ‘I wish you’d talked to me first…’"
It is unknown who Liger will face in his final pro wrestling match at Wrestle Kingdom 14. He is currently involved in a feud with Minoru Suzuki.