no Puroresu, No. 34, 2001
Feb. 25, 2001
Interviewed by Noboru
Translated by Yoko Kondo
Q: Itfs the first
time to talk to you in an interview, isnft it?
Uno: Oh, Yes. Thank you
very much for helping me out when I went to Seattle.
Q: Well, I did nothing
special. (laughing) There are many things I want to ask you about. Now I
called you Uno senshu (fighter), but I wonder what kind of
fighter you are now. (laughing)
Uno: I am not a pro
wrestlerc wellc.but Ifve never considered myself a kakuto
Uno: When I had a part
time job, I considered myself a freeter. (laughing) [in Japanese,
freeter is a person without a steady job.]
Q: Freeter! (laughing)
Uno: Being called a kakuto
fighter didnft fit me somehow. In fact, I didnft like to be
called by that name, because I couldnft live on only that job.
Q: You are not doing a
part-time job now, arenft you?
Uno: Ifm doing at Uno
Kaoru Shop now. [Uno is his family name, Kaoru is his personal name, and
he writes it in English as Caol.]
Q: Oh! A Goods-related
shop! How is your business?
Uno: Well, so so. My
mother is the president, and I am the director of public relations.
(smiling) So, maybe my title now is a shop manager.
Q: A shop manager, not
a fighter (laughing).
Uno: Yes (laughing).
Q: By the way, you
created a sensation at the end of the last year of 21st
century by participating in gInoki Bom-Ba-Yeh (Dec. 31) after the
fight with Sato Rumina (Dec. l7).
Uno: Ifm sorry to get
you into a fuss (laughing). But this pattern is exactly what gKami no
Q: Ha ha ha (laughing).
To be sure, you are very interesting lately.
Uno: (Put a little pose
for confusing) Is that so? I have to speak carefully today, because
gKami proh interview is more sharp than other kakutogi magazines. I
made a statement on why I returned the champion belt and what Ifm
going to do from now on. And I was thinking to talk about something
inoffensive along the statement, but I forgot to bring that paper. I
wonder what I should do (laughing).
Q: Generally speaking,
a statement isnft interesting. So letfs talk without it (laughing).
Looking at you lately, I have an impression that you look good.
Uno: Ha ha (laughing).
Thank you very much!
Q: You look serious, or
in other words, valiant in the ring.
Uno: Is that so? It
must be an effect of the hard training with Mr. Kevin Yamazaki
(laughing). Before the fight with Rumina Sato, I had a very hard, but
very interesting training with him. After that I did the same training
as usual with Mr. Moriyama at Eishukai. I did training as much as I
could, so I could come up to the ring feeling that there would be no
regret for whatever the result would be.
Q: Kevin-san has a
peculiar power as a human, doesnft he?
Uno: He is cc very
interesting! (laughing) I enjoyed the training everyday. He taught me a
scientific training, which was new to me. So what should I sayc.. he
Q: If we describe him
in one word, it will be ginterestingh, wonft it?
Uno: Yes, I think so.
And he is good at teaching.
Q: He shouts like this,
gGo, go, come on!h If you listen to it carefully, it is very
confusing which you should go (laughing). But that shout seems to make
fightersf power up.
(laughing) In that sense, he is good at controlling our feeling for the
Q: He teaches the most
advanced scientific training. But a sort of nonsense he has is very
important, isnft it?
Uno: (laughing). And
Ifm quite forgetful. But he talked to me repeatedly so that I could
learn. I was training without thinking before, but I am trying to think
Q: Are you a type of
man who usually thinks about things deeply?
Uno: No, Ifm quite
superficial. But Ifm obsessive to things I like.
Q: In short, selfish?
Uno: Maybe so.
Q: But, being selfish
is indispensable to being the top.
Uno: (seriously) Is it
Q: Donft trust what I
say (laughing). Well, you said before the fight with Rumina, gI have
the champion belt, but I will go in with the spirit of a challengerh.
I think what is called for most in this age is that spirit, which you
try to challenge even after becoming the champion, and try to take a
risk toward a new stage. Mr. Inoki is the one who has been doing it as a
permanent activity, I think. No matter how many times he is depressed,
he never gives up (laughing). Why did you participate in his gInoki
Uno: For one thing, I
am a fan of pro wrestling from a long time ago. And Eishukai doesnft
have a negative idea against pro wrestling, for the other. In fact, I
have been training with pro wrestlers, so I know through the body how
strong they are. And Mr. Shoji was injured at that time. I thought a
single match might be hard for him.
Q: It was just after
Mr. Shoji got the appendix resolved.
Uno: Besides, he was in
a terrible condition due to a kick by Almeida at Pride 12. But he made a
dash for the fight as soon as he came up the ring of the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye.
He did even keprada(?).
Q: Speaking of
technique, you also showed diving elbow and leap frog. And you
were caught with thunder fire power
bomb and DDT. You seem to have experienced baptism of pro
wrestling a lot. (laughing)
Uno: Thatfs right.
And we made rice-cakes after the count-down, didnft we? Mr. Shoji told
me then, gIsnft it a dream, is it? Pinch me to make sure!h
Q: (laughing) He is
Uno: There were many
fighters gathering there whom I used to watch when I was a child. So I
was very happy that I could go in the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye with them.
Q: Your fight was also
interesting, especially the ground move with Matsui at the early stage
of the fight.
Uno: Thank you very
Q: In the case of Pride
or Shoot, some fighting technique are not so clear that viewers have to
use a microscope. In pro wrestling, on the other hand, fighting
techniques are shown so exaggeratedly that it is easy to see that both
of you have the base of kakutogi. If Mr. Yamamoto Kotetsu [who used to
be a pro wrestler] was there as a commentator, he would say, gWait a
second! These two fighters do a leaping technique too, but their base of
ground wrestling are perfecth. (laughing) Adding to it, it is a
jujitsu boom now, and you are speedy.
Uno: (Being puzzled)
Q: Well, perhaps you
are not used to being praised (laughing).
Uno: (laughing) I just
wonder if itfs OK with me to be praised my fight in pro wrestling. I
might offend the fans of kakutogi. (laughing)
Q: When you decided to
participate in pro wrestling, you must have been criticized by people
Uno: There were a lot
of criticism seen in Internet. But pro wrestling is nothing but pro
wrestling for me. And Renzo, Mark Karr, Coleman, and Mr. Sakuraba, all
got together there. If Renzo or Mr. Sakuraba hadnft been there, I
wouldnft have been there either. One more reason for that is I thought
this chance could bring me a good experience.
Q: How did you feel
when you came up the ring? Was it different from that of Shootfighting?
Uno: I seldom get
nervous. But I was nervous. I thought something might be thrown at me on
a stage passage. (laughing)
Uno: I thought that
booing might arise, but I heard a lot of shout of joy too. It surprised
me a little bit. It made me even happy, because I had in mind that
something dangerous might happen to me.
Q: There are some among
the kakutogi fans who feel bad about your participation in pro
wrestling. Some people among the pro wrestling fans say too, gDonft
do pro wrestling as a temporary work!h or gwe donft want to watch
pro wrestling like a kidfs playh. But it is good to hear that you
went in with a lot of excitement. Generally speaking, the former
welter-weight champion of Shoot never went in pro wrestling, in terms of
physique too. (laughing) People who were paying attention to you
wondering what your next choice would be cc
Uno: Some people said,
gWhere will he go? Pride?h But I chose pro wrestling. (laughing)
Q: Besides, it was the
gInoki Bom-Ba-Yeh. (laughing) It was a very good choice from a view
poing of gKami proh. Your fight was very interesting from my point
of view, but it seems like that Mr. Inoki was mad at it in a waiting
Uno: (with anxiety)
What? Why is it?
Q: It is the gInoki Bom-Ba-Yah, so he expected a gfighting-spirit pro wrestlingh like
the fight between Ogawa and Yasuda. But you showed a gRucha-tekih
[translatorfs note: I donft know an exact meaning of gRuchh, but
I guess it implies a light mood like in a festival.] fighting there. So
I heard that he said watching a monitor, gItfs not a fight I
Uno: (with be
disappointed) Is it true?
Q: But even in the
fight of Hashimoto vs. Goodridge, there were some parts which threw a
question to the fans who were used to watching vale tudo.
(laughing). But it was the fight I wanted to do there. I enjoyed it, and
20 minutes passed in a moment. In the beginning, the way I breathe
didnft fit it, so I was tired easily and thirsty. But my condition
became better from the middle of the fight.
Q: Mr. Sakuraba was out
of stamina that day. It seems to be difficult how to distribute stamina.
Uno: (nodding) I found
it really difficult to do pro wrestling. And I thought how great pro
wrestlers were. These are the reasons why I wanted to go in pro
wrestling. I thought this new experience would have a good influence on
me. Anyway, I was thinking to do pro wrestling one time as an
(c) 2001, Yoko Kondo, all rights