New Japan Pro-Wrestling has announced that KENTA will challenge Tetsuya Naito for both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at the New Beginning in Osaka event on February 9, 2020. This will be Naito’s first defense of both Championships since winning them on Day 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
This challenge was prompted by KENTA attacking Tetsuya Naito after he won the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 14. This prevented Naito from having a proper post-match celebration of becoming the first simultaneous IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion.
Naito vs KENTA
At a press conference following the events of Wrestle Kingdom 14, Tetsuya Naito expressed reluctance to defend his newly won Championships against KENTA. He claimed that the importance of being a double champion would be reduced if both titles were on the line on a regular basis. He stated that he would prefer to defend each one individually, even if he had to wrestle more frequently to do so.
Naito also questioned the legitimacy of KENTA’s challenge. He argued that Jay White, Kota Ibushi, and Kazuchika Okada were all more rightful challengers than KENTA, since the latter had lost the NEVER Openweight Championship to Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom 14 as well.
NJPW’s “The New Beginning in Osaka 2020” event will be streamed live on NJPW World.