NJPW’s Hiromu Takahashi suffered a nasty injury at G1 Special in San Francisco this weekend. Takahashi suffered a broken neck after a botched Phoenix Plex involving Dragon Lee.
It’s unknown exactly what’s to be expected from Takahashi’s injury or how long he’ll be out. However, some involved in the wrestling world have come out against the brutal style of wrestling that NJPW. One man, NJPW’s IWGP Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho, has even stepped up to speak about the dangerous work rate of NJPW and if a change needs to be made.
Jericho appeared on SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio to talk with Mark Henry and Dave LaGreca about working smarter, not safer, and hopes to teach that to the NJPW locker room. (Thanks to Cageside Seats for the transcription)
It’s up to the individual guys. I actually had a conversation with somebody – with [Will] Ospreay, and people were saying, ‘Oh, he’s going to be the next Dynamite Kid.’
I’m like, ‘Dude, you don’t want to be the next Dynamite Kid, and this is what they’re saying about you. So these dangerous moves that you do that don’t matter…stop it! You know, you need to be working when you’re 47 like I am.’
Y2J went on to say that he had a similar conversation with wrestling legend Nick Bockwinkel back in his earlier days.
I did my share of crazy bumps and took my share of bed bumps, but as you get older, it’s the proverbial thing…I remember Nick Bockwinkel told me like in 1992 at a TV taping in Winnipeg when he was there as a color commentator, ‘You do too much.’
I remember thinking like, ‘What an asshole thing to think.’ I was like, ‘He’s just jealous cause he can’t do these moves.’ That’s what you think when you’re a young guy. It’s Nick Bockwinkel! And now I’m older, Nick Bockwinkel is one of the greatest. I’ve modeled characters after him. He’s right.
At the end of the day, however, Chris Jericho doesn’t think there’s an issue with the ‘Strong Style’ of wrestling. He just feels there’s a way to both work Strong Style and be safe at the same time.
So, there’s nothing wrong with strong style. I like beating the shit out of somebody and getting the crap kicked out of me as much as… the match I had with Naito, I was hurting for days after in a good way. Nothing was broken. No neck injuries. I had cuts all over, my back was sore. You know the feeling, Mark, when you’ve had a great match. You know you get out of bed and you’re like, ‘Oh…that hurt.’ That’s what wrestling should be. It should be stiff. It should be strong style, but not dangerous. And that’s what I want to try and tell some of these new guys in New Japan that have this great style.
I mean, these guys are having these amazing matches, but don’t be dangerous! We’re still human beings, we’re not action figures that you can just dump on your head and just get up and go, ‘Okay, what’s next guys?’
You have to be cognizant of it, and I think some of the guys are starting to understand it more. If they get more guys in there to work with people like myself, they will learn. I won’t do those bumps because it doesn’t matter. It’s not gonna make me any more money if I do it or not. And that’s what this business is about, making money and putting the proverbial asses in the seats!
Does Chris Jericho have a point? Should the stars of today, not just in NJPW, but in the indies in general where stuff like this has spread, take it down a notch?