Tetsuya Naito Talks About His Stolen Moment, Facing KENTA

NJPW's IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito has opened up about his stolen moment as he addressed his opponent KENTA.

Tetsuya Naito
Tetsuya Naito

New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s double champion Tetsuya Naito has addressed his upcoming opponent KENTA in a recent interview with njpw1972.com. The Los Ingobernables de Japon leader holds both the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. He won the dual titles after emerging victorious from NJPW’s Double Gold Dash over Wrestle Kingdom 14 two day event.

Tetsuya Naito’s Stolen Moment

His Wrestle Kingdom celebration would be unfairly cut short thanks to a blindsided attack by KENTA. Addressing his opponent, who he faces this Sunday at The New Beginning in Osaka event, Naito surprisingly gave Kenta credit for the attack.

“You have to give him credit for turning the focus to himself. I said this at the press conference, but as a wrestler, I have to respect what he was able to do, completely wrecking the ending to that weekend,” Naito said.

“Look, there were probably a ton of guys in the back who were cursing me out behind my back after I won. Plenty of people who would want to do what KENTA did, but he was the one that ran out and did it. Esepcially after he lost the NEVER Championship, just jumping me like that took a lot of balls.”

KENTA’s actions ruined Naito’s “moment,” something that isn’t lost on the LIJ leader. He explained how “To the fans who understand that, what KENTA did was [unforgivable]. n wrestling it’s all or nothing. Indifference is the worst reaction that can be; he might have been booed by over 30,000 people, but KENTA made that happen. He did get those fans in chorus, against him.”

Los Ingobernables De Japon’s Championship Glory

Tetsuya Naito isn’t the only LIJ member to enjoying championship glory. Hiromu Takahashi is the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and Shingo Takagi recently won the IWGP NEVER Openweight Championship after defeating Goto. LIJ members EVIL, Takagi and BUSHI are also the current IWGP NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions.

Reflecting on his group’s success, Naito commented on how LIJ has no intention of slowing down:

“Me and Hiromu are lighting the fire. That’s what we have going on here. In 2020, already, I’ve won double gold in the main event of the Tokyo Dome, and Hiromu’s come back, won the belt, beaten Liger, and has all the charisma in the world. That gets you thinking about what might happen within LIJ as the year goes on.”

The New Beginning in Osaka takes place this Sunday, February 9th from Osaka-Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan.