Kazuchika Okada will team with his CHAOS stablemate, Tomohiro Ishii, on Sunday night at Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Long Beach. They will take on the team of IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega, and his Golden Lovers’ teammate, Kota Ibushi.

Just days ahead of NJPW’s return to California, Okada spoke with NJPW1972.com about the promotion’s international expansion.

Okada was in the main event of NJPW’s first Long Beach show on July 1st, 2017.

“I felt like I had to show the people what New Japan Pro Wrestling was all about,” Okada said of his match that night. At the same time, I didn’t want to get caught up in catering to the American audience. I really wrestled that match as if it was in a Japanese venue.”

Okada wrestled Cody that night, who he offered up some heavy praise for.

“Like I expected, he was great,” Okada said of Cody. “I don’t know how much came from his dad and how much he developed by himself, but he’s obviously very charismatic, and more than that, he isn’t excessively flashy. Some fans see guys who do flashy moves and might think ‘this guys a great wrestler,’ or ‘that guys tough’, but without big showy moves, he’s able to get the fans to know he’s really tough. He’s so fundamentally sound, too. A really good wrestler.”

Despite dropping his recent match for the G1 Briefcase to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Okada stresses he is still the “face of NJPW.”

“I am the face of NJPW. I’m going to take that responsibility seriously, and I’m going to tear it up in the Walter Pyramid.”