Ricky Starks has his sights set on some of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s biggest stars ahead of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.
The reigning FTW Champion previously stated that he wasn’t going to call anyone out ahead of the show, but now the Team Taz member is targeting a few major names.
In an interview with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT, Starks stated that he wants to face Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, and SANADA.
“I would love to wrestle [Kazuchika] Okada, [Tetsuya] Naito and SANADA,” said Starks. “Those three. People can run with that.”
Okada is widely considered as one of the best wrestlers in the world; he currently holds the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Naito is a three-time IWP Heavyweight Champion, and SANADA is a former IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
Though he has been more active in the ring recently, there have been stretches where the FTW Champion rarely wrestles on TV. Starks made it clear that he has told Tony Khan that he wants to perform more, but the company president also wants to utilize him as a commentor. With this in mind, “The Stroke Daddy” stated that being both a wrestler and a commentator is a blessing.
“To his credit, I told Tony I want to be in the ring more and be an active wrestler and his rebuttal is ‘right, but I also see value in you in a commentary [role] as well, so why not do that while you’re still healthy?’ And that’s hard to argue, he has a great point.
“To do both is a blessing in itself and for me to understand and realize that is maturity. He’s understanding and he’s great with it. As you’ve seen, I’ve been in the ring a lot more now so we’re on the right track.”
RELATED: Ricky Starks Wants To Become The Top Star In AEW, Hopes To Change The Landscape Of Wrestling