Shingo Takagi talked about during a press conference following NJPW Dominion about becoming the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.
He beat Kazuchika Okada to become the champion after the title had been vacated.
“Okada had the record for most defences of the previous IWGP Heavyweight title. He represented that belt, but I feel now it’s with me, the prestige of this title has been elevated a bit, if I do say so myself. Tanahashi, Okada, they’re definitely factors, but what drives me most is beating out the people of my generation. Ibushi, Naito, they’re the guys that make me the most competitive. Ibushi and I debuted at the same time, Naito and I have that past in the Hamaguchi Gym. I have my reasons for coming to New Japan in the first place, but getting to throw down with Ibushi, that was definitely one aspect. Having a proper place for us to square off. We didn’t start out as New Japan guys, but a few years ago it hit me that the guy I want to fight the most is in NJPW, and if I want that to happen then I have to be in NJPW too. Then October 2018 I arrived, and two years, what, eight months later… I wouldn’t call that a rapid ascent. I’m 39 this year, I can’t afford to take things slow.”