In a candid conversation with "Gabby AF," AEW's Eddie Kingston, a distinct persona in the realm of professional wrestling, expressed his profound connection to the Japanese wrestling scene. Having been deeply influenced by the legends of All Japan and New Japan Pro Wrestling from the 90s, Kingston's recent triumph at AEW Worlds End, where he outperformed his longtime ally Jon Moxley to clinch the AEW Continental Classic and the AEW Continental Crown, was a significant milestone.
This victory was especially poignant as the AEW Continental Crown takes inspiration from All Japan's revered Triple Crown Championship. Kingston's journey in wrestling is marked by his enduring passion for 'puroresu' - the Japanese style of professional wrestling.
His participation in New Japan's G1 Climax earlier this year was a dream come true, as he got to compete in iconic venues such as Korakuen Hall and Sumo Hall. These experiences were more than just matches for Kingston; they were akin to spiritual revelations.
"Watching me in Korakuen Hall was like watching someone have a religious experience, or going to church," Kingston reflected, quoting Jon Moxley. He harbors aspirations to one day step into the Budokan arena, a site holding significant historical value in Japanese wrestling.
Kingston's Japanese Wrestling Dream
Kingston's career path was never conventional. When he started in the wrestling world, WWE was the predominant force. However, his aspirations were elsewhere. He idolized Japanese wrestling icons like Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue, Jun Akiyama, Keiji Mutoh, Masahiro Chono, and Shinya Hashimoto.
His journey to Japan was not just a highlight of his career but a pivotal moment in his life, fulfilling a dream that once seemed unreachable. His story is one of relentless pursuit and the power of dreams. "That was probably the best thing, not just this year, but my life in general, to reach something that you never know that you could reach, and you did it," Kingston said, adding a message of inspiration.
"If I can do it, honestly, anyone can do anything they want. It doesn't matter, just do whatever you want." Kingston's story is a testament to the fact that in the world of professional wrestling, passion and dedication can lead one to their sacred grounds, transcending the conventional routes and expectations.