The Pro Wrestling NOAH event NOAH THE BEST 2023 is scheduled to take place on December 2nd at the Yokohama Budokan. In one of the highly anticipated matches on the show, pro wrestling legend Tatsumi Fujinami will team with his former apprentice Manabu Soya as they will face another teacher/student team of Jinsei Shinzaki and GHC Heavyweight Champion Kenoh.
Back in 2006, Manabu Soya made his pro wrestling debut for Tatsumi Fujinami’s MUGA World Pro Wrestling. Six months after his debut for MUGA, Soya left the promotion for All Japan Pro Wrestling. Manabu Soya had felt he did an injustice to Fujinami and has mixed feelings about teaming with him on December 2nd.
During an interview which was conducted by Lewis Carlan for Bodyslam.net, Manabu Soya indicated that he didn’t expect to be invited to the December 2nd match to team with Fujinami.
Tatsumi Fujinami has cleared the air on his feelings for Manabu Soya. In a recent interview that is available on Pro Wrestling NOAH’s YouTube channel, Fujinami was asked his thoughts on Soya saying that he did something “unfair” to him.
“Un-loyalty? I myself don’t have anything against him, as far as he isTatsumi Fujinami
concerned. He would have liked to have been in the ring even for a single match when he was still training and developing. I’m still thinking about Soya. I remember how he was when he first entered wrestling. I am impressed to see how he has grown as a wrestler, and I am impressed to see how he has come this far on his own.
Tatsumi Fujinami discussed meeting Manabu Soya for the first time and his initial impression of him:
At first, like anyone else, he is honest, or straight-forward. When he started wrestling, I had some contact with him, but I didn’t teach him anything that looked like wrestling at all. I was just thinking, ‘Well, he’s changed, his appearance has changed, he’s physically changed, etc. So, I’m looking forward to seeing him again. On my side, I’m looking forward to seeing him again after such a long time.Tatsumi Fujinami
Tatsumi Fujinami had this final message for the fans to close out the interview:
On December 2nd, I will stand in the ring of NOAH at the YokohamaTatsumi Fujinami
Budokan for the first time in a long time. My partner is Manabu Soya, so I will be very conscious of that, and my opponents are Jinsei Shinzaki and KENOH, and I will be meeting KENOH for the first time, so I feel that I will be nervous again after a long time. Everyone, please look forward to it!
Tatsumi Fujinami, who is 69 years old, made his pro wrestling debut back in 1971. He is considered as one of the all time greats in the history of professional wrestling. Fujinami has held numerous titles during his career including the IWGP Heavyweight Title on five separate occasions and the WWWF Junior Heavyweight Championship twice.
Tatsumi Fujinami’s last match for Pro Wrestling NOAH was in 2017.
Fans can watch Tatsumi Fujinami and Manabu Soya face Kenoh and Jinsei Shinzaki LIVE on Wrestle Universe streaming service on December 2nd.
You can follow Lewis Carlan on Twitter @ShootingUpNorth