Yuji Nagata breaks his injuries in AJPW Title Match – Wrestling Inc.
Recently, NJPW has loaned out some older wrestlers who can still get into the ring at a high level to other promotions, such as Satoshi Kojima in Pro Wrestling NOAH and Yuji Nagata in All Japan Pro Wrestling. On February 19, Nagata’s journey became particularly significant, as he won AJPW’s top belt, the Triple Crown Championship, from Kento Miyahara at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. This made Nagata, 54, the fifth wrestler to win Japan’s top three titles — the Triple Crown, NOAH’s GHC heavyweight title, and NJPW’s heavyweight title — alongside Kojima (who did so last year by winning the GHC title), Kensuke Sasaki, Yoshihiro Takayama, and Keiji. Moto. On March 21, he made his first defense against Shuji Ishikawa, and on Wednesday, NJPW’s website posted an interview to tease the match, which included Nagata going into detail about the injury issues he had to overcome.
“Last year I hurt my left knee in the Real World Tag League, and coming into this I hurt my right,” Nagata said. “It was difficult for me to walk for a while, but I did everything I could between Western and Eastern medicine to make it happen in time.” He added that while NJPW, Japan’s largest promotion, has an athletic trainer to assist wrestlers on the road, the current iteration of AJPW is much smaller and does not, making his recovery more difficult. “I guess I wasn’t taking care of myself enough and letting things slide too. I took this very seriously; things were definitely rough for a while. I had to use a cane to walk for a while.”
Not only did he need a stick, Ngata said, he also had approximately 75 milliliters of fluid drained from his knees. He added, “I didn’t want to have a bad game, and we had all these fans from both teams and from Miyahara’s team come out,” noting that the crowd’s positive reaction to the match “was definitely a huge relief.”
The 3/21 show at Ota Ward Gym will be broadcast live AJPW.tv.