New series coming to Fuji TV which stars Kazuchika Okada.
In the new year, Fuji TV is airing a new show titled ‘THE Spirit – Project to Discover Wrestlers with a Fighting Spirit’. The show is kicking off January 9th and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Kazuchika Okada is serving as lead trainer.
The program is a special project for New Japan’s 50th anniversary. Recruits from all over Japan who aspire to be pro wrestlers were brought in for filming. The usual restrictions that NJPW has in place for trainees such as height and age limitations were completely loosened up. The age range on the show went from early teens to late 40s.
‘Legendary’ wrestlers from the past and current wrestlers are going to join Okada throughout the series to give guidance to the recruits.
On the Fuji TV front, Shinobu Hasegawa and Miyu Ikeda will be reacting to the show in-studio. Yurie Toyosaki, a freelance announcer, will be ‘enlivening’ the program by watching over of the trainees’ progress.
Okada said the following about the series:
I am looking forward to seeing how the training with the trainees will develop. First and foremost, I hope that the trainees will be able to feel how hard they are working for the introductory test. The seniors who are active in TV programs now also experienced quite severe training when they were young. They do 500 squats as a matter of course, and they also do other rigorous menus such as sit-ups and back-ups. So I think that even if people who like pro wrestling watch the show, they will feel once again that pro wrestlers are amazing. By the way, I, Okada, am getting scarier with each broadcast (laughs). We have various senior wrestlers as special coaches, and they are also scary (laughs). But I hope that the audience will see the fear and the growth process of the trainees who endure the rigorous training, and that they will be empowered by the program and think, these kids are doing their best, so I will do my best too. I hope that this will be an opportunity for them to learn more about the world of professional wrestling, and I hope that they will also enjoy watching the program and learning about the process of becoming a professional wrestler, which is something they don’t usually get to see!
Five days prior to the series airing, Kazuchika Okada is going to be headlining Wrestle Kingdom 17 in an IWGP World Heavyweight Title match against Jay White.