Jay White discusses how the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship, both held by Tetsuya Naito, should be defended.
For months after Naito won the Double Gold Dash at Wrestle Kingdom this past January, there's been some debate as to whether Naito should defend both belts in each title match or defend each individual title in its own separate match. Naito has had just one title defense since January, defending both belts against KENTA at The New Beginning In Osaka.
White, who dropped the Intercontinental Championship to Naito at Wrestle Kingdom, spoke to NJPW and talked about how the titles should be defended. White believes that it mainly depends on not just who is chasing after Naito, but how he does it. In the case of KENTA, White said it was only natural he would get a shot at both titles after attacking Naito moments after his historic win in January.
"In that case, yes it was the right decision, just because of how the match came about. Naito had made history by becoming the first double champion on January 5, but who was everybody talking about after that night? [KENTA] knocked Naito out and held up both belts. Of course he should be in line for both titles. Now, let’s say KENTA won a tag match or something and then made a challenge in his backstage comments. That would be a different situation, it shouldn’t be a double title match in that case. But KENTA made a huge physical statement at the Tokyo Dome," White said.
White also took a look at himself and why he should be first in line to challenge for the titles once he is able to return to Japan once travel bans have been lifted.
"Well, look, if it was someone like myself, I was in the Double Gold Dash. He beat me and took my Intercontinental Championship on night one at Wrestle Kingdom, and on night two, I beat Kota Ibushi, so there’s a very good reason why I should be the first in line. Let’s use Hirooki Goto as an example, because I’ve had to deal with that son-of-a-bitch too many times because he keeps getting chances that he shouldn’t. If he gets given a shot, as unlikely as it may seem, I’m going to be on the same page as Tetsuya Naito. There is no way Goto should be able to challenge for both titles. Naito should choose," White said.
The full interview can be read at this link.