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Dream job: pro wrestler

Written by
Rebecca Liew

Tetsuya Shimizu aka BUSHI, 33
Wrestler at New Japan Pro-Wrestling

How did you develop an interest in professional wrestling?

I was quite rough around the edges in high school, and developed an interest in wrestling when I turned 18. It was a form of rebellion for me.

Tell us how your ring name came about.

I used to be known as ‘T28’, which in Japanese reads as ‘Tetsuya’. But when I visited Mexico in 2009 to pick up the lucha libre style of wrestling, I found that people struggled to pronounce it. While wandering the streets there, I came across pirated copies of Japanese DVDs, one of which had the name ‘BUSHI’ in the title – and it stuck. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a pro wrestler?

Being able to travel to so many places. I pretty much started from scratch while in Mexico, but I got to encounter different masked wrestlers and bulk up at the same time. That was both challenging  and rewarding.  

Is there a diet you stuck to in order to bulk up?

I ate anything I could get my hands on. I was around 60 kilograms when I was 18, but within two years I weighed 90 kilograms. I’m now around 83 kilograms. As important as it is to maintain a training routine, I listen to how my body feels and give it the rest it deserves.

Why are Japanese wrestling fans always so quiet compared to fans elsewhere in the world?

It may seem that way, but New Japan Pro-Wrestling is becoming increasingly popular among women. If you go for one of our matches in Japan, you’ll notice female fans sitting ringside cheering and snapping photos on expensive cameras.

Wrestling World 2016 is at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre on Nov 15. 

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