Tetsuya Naito recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard section for an interview. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On winning the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and what he wants to do with it: “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.”
On Chris Jericho: “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.”
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On winning back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship: “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.”
Check out the complete Tetsuya Naito interview at SI.com.
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