“I’m still breathing, and if I breathe, I fight”. This was the vow made to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s media by a battered yet determined Toa Henare, moments after his loss to Bad Luck Fale at the “DESTRUCTION in Hiroshima” event, held this past weekend at Sun Plaza Hall.
This match marked the second meeting between the student, Henare and his teacher, Fale. The Prized Lion wasted no time in pursuing his Fale Dojo trainer as he greeted “the Underboss” with intense strikes while he entered the ring. The Tongan giant endured his student’s persistence, letting his young protégé come to him. Fale’s experience paid off when Henare used the ropes for momentum to spring off and charge at Fale, only for Fale to extend his arm and wipe out Henare with a devastating clothesline. Fale then proceeded to pick up the dazed Henare and execute his signature move, the grenade before gaining the pin-fall.
Toa Henare spoke with Ite Lemalu Writings, reflecting on his most recent learning experience with his mentor. “I learned that it’s going to take more than what I’ve been throwing out to get to that next level. It’s not going to be a quick fix either,” said Henare.
Realising that Fale may know him too well, Henare talked about re-assessing his approach. “I’ve always come at things the Kiwi way – up the guts. But I’ll need something different to beat him,” explained the Fale Dojo star graduate. “I’m going to have to change my game up, slow things down and be more strategic.”
Henare wishes that he gets to have more matches with Fale, in hopes of gaining as much valuable experience from his teacher. “I hope so, I hope I get all the rematches because it’s only going to take me getting that one win to move to the next level.”