Tetsuya Naito "doesn't get" the World Title scenario in NJPW.
Tetsuya Naito was undoubtedly the star of Wrestle Kingdom two years ago. As part of the Double Gold Dash, which would see the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship belts be held by the same person.
This began a long journey that would see the belts be merged completely and create the present-day IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Naito was against the merger all along and he hasn’t changed his tune.
Speaking with the official website of NJPW, Naito would echo a lot of the previous sentiments stated by Shingo Takagi saying that the current situation where three individuals have their own championship belt is very confusing for the audience.
“I’m on the outside looking in, mind, but I’m not sure I get it. Still, I think that Takagi’s position is probably the right one. That isn’t just because we’re on the same team; what he’s saying makes the most sense to me.”
He continued, “Look, I don’t really get it, and I’m a wrestler here. The fans are even more confused with this three belt stuff. I’m sure some like the complexity, but complexity isn’t going to bring new fans in. People watching for the first time are going to say ‘I don’t get it,’ and tune right out.”
Confronted with comparisons to the scenario leading into Wrestle Kingdom 14, Naito would say that he never wanted the belts to be merged and he was ignored from day one.
"I get that a lot, heh. But I don’t agree. I never wanted the titles to be unified. I wanted to be the first to hold both titles, and to defend them separately. It was the company who ignored me. I was the one vocally against the unification from day one.”
He added, “I wanted to put a stop to it, but to be the one blamed for bringing the whole deal about ticks me off. I won't be better and say that my plan would have played out better, but I want it emphasized that I was anti unification.”
This year, Naito is featured in a major singles match on night two of the event on January 5 as he will face is Jeff Cobb in singles action.
We will have live coverage of all nights of Wrestle Kingdom 16 as they occur.