Toa Henare remembers his time teaming with Hiroshi Tanahashi last year.
The duo teamed up to compete in the 2019 World Tag League and although they didn't win the tournament, Henare learned a lot from Tanahashi. In an interview with NJPW, Henare spoke on the experience being together with Tanahashi and even compared the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion to Goku from the Dragon Ball franchise.
"It was amazing. He’s not just a next level wrestler, but a next level human being. He’s like a real life version of Goku from Dragon Ball. You just feel an energy from him. There’s nothing bad about him. So I had to ask myself ‘If I’m with him, what do I bring to this team?’ Like was I the tough guy in that team, or what? Before I used to do the Haka before all my matches; I thought that the fans would think that’s cool. What I really am though is a fighter. I went to Thailand to train because I enjoy fighting, and that’s what I want to bring that out in my matches," Henare said.
The team of Henare and Tanahashi failed to make a significant impact throughout the course of the tournament, finishing tied for 14th place in points out of 16 teams that competed in the tournament. The team of David Finlay and Juice Robinson ended up winning the World Tag League to get an IWGP Heavyweight Title shot at Wrestle Kingdom 14 this past June.
Tanahashi went on to achieve tag team success with another partner: Kota Ibushi. Earlier this year, Tanahashi and Ibushi won the IWGP Tag Team Championship, but have yet to defend the titles.
Henare was supposed to face Tomohiro Ishii in the main event of the first night of the 2020 New Japan Cup on March 4. However, that show, as well as the entire tournament, was canceled due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19.