NJPW News: Tetsuya Naito says he's superior to Chris Jericho in almost every aspect 

  • Strong words from the leader of LIJ!
Soumik Datta
Modified 31 May 2018, 17:01 IST

Tetsuya Naito is the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion
Tetsuya Naito is the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion

What’s the story?

NJPW superstar Tetsuya Naito recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard section and during the interview, the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion opened up about his recent IC Title win, his upcoming showdown against Chris Jericho, and winning back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

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In case you didn’t know…

At this year’s NJPW: Wrestling Dontaku event in Fukuoka, Japan, former six-time WWE World Champion Chris Jericho made his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling for the first time since his loss to Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12.

On his very first night back in Japan, Jericho once again set his sights on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito, in another brutal blindside attack.

The heart of the matter

During his conversation with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Tetsuya Naito opened up on a host of topics and below are the highlights from the interview: (H/T: Wrestling Inc)

Winning the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and what he wants to do with it:

The IWGP Intercontinental Championship has a pretty vast history with Tetsuya Naito, who during his previous reign as the IC Champion absolutely destroyed the championship belt to pieces because apparently the IC Title absolutely means nothing to the leader of LIJ and is still pretty worthless.

"You know, Minoru Suzuki likes to call himself the 'King of Professional Wrestling,' but there's no star that shines brighter than Tetsuya Naito. The Intercontinental title isn't on a king, it's on the brightest star in the sky once more. But my feelings toward the championship haven't changed. It's an unnecessary belt and an unnecessary title. My goal is to do away with it."

Getting a win over Chris Jericho:


According to Naito, he believes that as a wrestler he is definitely far superior to Chris Jericho in every single aspect and the only place Jericho might be able to defeat Naito is in regards to name recognition, so following the IC Champion’s win over Y2J at Dominion, he is going to make sure that the name Tetsuya Naito and Los Ingobernables de Japon becomes even more of a worldwide household name.

"As a wrestler, I'm superior to him in every single way. The only place he might have me beat is in name recognition. He's a global superstar. So by beating Jericho, the name Tetsuya Naito, and Los Ingobernables de Japon, becomes even more of a worldwide household name. And that business he pulled in Fukuoka? That was just plain rude. I need him to understand that you can't do that and expect to get away unharmed."

Winning back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship:

Tetsuya Naito noted that among all the other championship belts in NJPW, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is by far the most prestigious and important belt, however, the truth right now is that the name Tetsuya Naito is much more important the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and also has more worth.

"There are a lot of championships in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Of those, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is number one, the most important. That's the truth. But it's also the truth that right now, Tetsuya Naito is more important, has more worth than the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. So I'm not worried. That title will find its way to me in due course. It's only natural."

What’s next?

Tetsuya Naito will defend the IWGP IC Title at Dominion 6.9 against Chris Jericho on the 9th of June, 2018.

Author’s Take

Naito’s upcoming match against Chris Jericho definitely promises to be a solid one-on-one contest and personally, I’m excited to see what Y2J has to offer in just his second match back in New Japan Pro Wrestling. 

Published 21 May 2018, 00:53 IST
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