IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito recently spoke to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s English language website njpw1972.com.
The double Champion will be defending his belts on Monday January 4th against Kota Ibushi; and the winner of that match will face Jay White on January 5th for Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15.
Naito discussed a number of topics with NJPW1972, including the criticism he and Kota Ibushi faced following their extremely ‘stiff’ and ‘dangerous’ G1 Climax bouts back in 2017.
Tetsuya Naito Talks Kota Ibushi Bouts
“After that match there was a lot of criticism online” Tetsuya Naito would begin. “[There was] people saying we’d kill ourselves. Of course, one misstep, one wrong move and our careers would be over. But we knew that and yet we were having so much fun. Every step of the way I was thinking how much fun it was to wrestle Ibushi.”
Naito would also discuss how he felt their positions ‘changed’ in the company following that match from the 2017 G1 tournament. “But beating him, after he’d taken that time away? It really felt like our positions changed with that match” Naito stated. “Like I was above that line, he was below. After that match, even if the win/loss records said different? I felt like I was above him in the pecking order.”
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