IMPACT Wrestling‘s Michael Elgin recently spoke with Wrestlezone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of his upcoming battle with Naomichi Marufuji at Bound for Glory this weekend. Elgin talked about his admiration for the Japanese legend and how the forthcoming match came to be.
“First it just starts with my love of Japanese wrestling which for me started at a very young age. It was 1992 and I’ve seen Dr. Death Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, [Shinya] Hashimoto and [Hiroshi] Hase on a WCW PPV. It was the first WCW PPV I got to see and I started Japanese wrestling. And then when I began my career in 2003, the US kind of got the influx of Japanese talent back cause there were many years where national companies outside of WCW at least, didn’t really use any Japanese and even in the later years of WCW, they didn’t use too many Japanese talents anymore. So you didn’t really get to see that, but the when I broke in 2003 it was around that time that Ring Of Honor has started bringing Japanese talent to the States and the two big names that were consistent in the United States on that level were Marufuji and KENTA. At that time a lot of people were kind of on the KENTA bandwagon, but I remember watching all the matches and myself, I was more of a Marufuji fan.
“His just style resonated more with me and I felt that the presence of him was a little bit different and a little bit more of my style of what I liked watching and since then, it was somebody I wanted to wrestle and then in 2013 I was supposed to wrestle him for Ring of Honor but he had got hurt in Japan before coming over and I had never got that match and then it was always eating at me, wanting to wrestle him and to perform in Japan and then when I went to Japan, I grew to love the style and the country of Japan even more, but I was always a still a fan of Marufuji even though I was with a different company.
“I always watched closely and then he took part in New Japan’s G1 and watching his matches he was just a phenomenal talent and he was just one of those guys where you watch and are in awe of as a wrestler and as a wrestling fan so it was always somebody I wanted to step in the ring with, so now I’m getting a chance to.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)