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RISE Puroresu: Hideto Matsuda talks America, Music, OCW, and the Ambition Title


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The following interview takes place three days after OCW’s Trials and Stipulations pay per view. This event was the American pay per view debut of Hideto Matsuda under the name Unbeatable MATSUDA. The interview is for RISE Puroresu Magazine based out of Osaka Prefecture, conducted by reporter Hitsuo Takeshi in San Diego, California and has been translated for English speaking audiences.


Hitsuo Takeshi meets his old friend Hideto Matsuda, who’s career he has been following for years, in a coffee shop in San Diego to conduct his first interview with the Japanese celebrity since his move to the United States in search of Western fame. He shakes Matsuda’s and before the two of them take a seat at a round table. The interview is taken out of character.


TAKESHI: I’m here once again with Matsuda Hide, formally of NJWA fame, who is now making a name for himself in the OCW promotion in the United States. Tell me, Matsuda-san, how have you been adjusting to your new home?


MATSUDA: Well if you couldn’t tell already things are a lot different around here. Some of it is good some of it is bad, but its all a pretty big adjustment. It’s definitely not home just yet. [laughs]


TAKESHI: When you say its not home, you mean you still crave for Japanese entertainment. How do you stay connected on the other side of the world?


MATSUDA: Thankfully Japan is the “cool” thing in America right now, which is actually helping me a lot in from a career standpoint. From an entertainment standpoint, a lot of Japanese artists have been having North American tours, I’ve been to an X-Japan concert in the months I have been here, which was nice. Maybe if I make it to OCW’s Wreslution event they can perform a rendition of my theme song live--that would be awesome.


TAKESHI: [laughs] So you still prefer the vocal talents of Toshimitsu Deyama to the Soldier Boy?


MATSUDA: [laughing] For now, yes.


TAKESHI: Back to wrestling, tell more about this Unbeatable MATSUDA gimmick. How has it developed and how has it been received, Matsuda-san?


MATSUDA: Unbeatable MATSUDA is an off shoot of my Spider MATSUDA gimmick, although it is a bit more “Japanese-y”. I come out to samisen and noh wailers like Tarantula Mishima [laughs]. My English is still less than stellar, so they brought Moryo Madara to be my translator and manager. We have been pretty well received although we are very serious characters.


TAKESHI: I have seen that Unbeatable MATSUDA is very serious, violent, and even scary. Is there any chance that we may see Matsuda Hide’s fun side in America?


MATSUDA: I wouldn’t count my fun side out just yet, Takeshi-san. Maybe when I settle in America will find that I still have a little “tora” in me [laughs].


TAKESHI: Very good! So tell me more about the wrestlers that you have been dealing with in OCW.


MATSUDA: They are certainly talented... to say the least. They don’t get along like us Japanese wrestlers do--they are always arguing backstage about something or other. I’m sure they hate each other.


TAKESHI: Matsuda-san, your first major story arc has been against a Samoan wrestler called Patolomai. Tell me about this rivalry.


MATSUDA: He is very, very big. I’ve never gone against someone so heavy in my life. He makes Giant Fuji look like a child in comparison. He is very strong and very talented, I respect him a lot as a competitor. We plan on revolutionizing the company’s rookie brand, and our angle will take a very unexpected turn soon enough.


TAKESHI: Any clues to be given?


MATSUDA: Absolutely not! [laughs]


TAKESHI: So could this feud be the American version of the Spider Matsuda v. Pink Spider rivalry?


MATSUDA: [Matsuda’s smile fades quickly] I doubt it could get that gory.


TAKESHI: Speaking of which, word in wrestling forums say that Pink Spider is also looking to make the jump to the west to expand his popularity. How do you feel about this?


MATSUDA: Pink Spider and I have had our issues in the past, and thats where I plan on leaving them--in the past. I wish him the best in his journey to the West, but I really don’t want to work with him again.


TAKESHI: Where does this bad blood stem from? All puro fans are familiar with your in ring rivalry, but the out of the ring disputes have been shrouded in mystery.


MATSUDA: He’s still bitter about my big push. I’ll leave it at that.


TAKESHI: Word in Japan is that there is now an Ambition title. you would make history not only as the first Japanese champion but also the first holder of the title itself. Will you be competing at the Wreslution pay per view for the title?


MATSUDA: Time will tell Takeshi-san, time will tell.


TAKESHI: Well that’s all the time we have today, Matsuda-san, it is an honor as always, keep representing your country with pride! We will all continue to root you on in the land of the rising sun.


MATSUDA: Arigatou, Takeshi-san. Hopefully soon enough, OCW will hold an event in the Budokan, so that I may compete before my people once again. Sayonara!


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