Tetsuya Naito on Jay White, Jon Moxley, and More


Recently, Tetsuya Naito spoke to the official global website of New Japan Pro-Wrestling about some of the men in this year’s G1 Climax including Jon Moxley, KENTA, and Jay White/ Below are some highlights.

Naito on Jon Moxley:

[On Moxley’s US title win] “I saw it. But that Moxley match didn’t really move me. I know it was a hot crowd in Ryogoku, that came through on the TV even, but I was left thinking ‘why are the people making that kind of noise?’ I couldn’t put my finger on it, myself.”
[On not liking Moxley due to his in-ring style] “Maybe that’s part of it, I prefer technical wrestlers. Plus, with his new gear, he seems more subdued, less showy than how I imagine a WWE wrestler is. Then again, that’s just going off one match. Maybe he has something I haven’t seen just yet.
“You don’t hold all the championships he has, or get as popular as he’s got purely on luck.”

Naito on Jay White:

“He did something I couldn’t, winning the IWGP title in his 20s. He’s certainly got a full head of steam. I think when you look at him post excursion, his in-ring approach and his size, you can see that change, but the biggest change for me is in his face. When he was a Young Lion, there was a softness to his face, frailty almost. Now he has results under his belt, you see that in his face, you see that confidence.
“Yeah, I don’t want to take that Bladerunner. I have a lot of pride in the Destino, and I plan on winning with it. Since it’s the last group match, the match order on the card isn’t decided yet, but I really hope Jay does well enough that our match is the main event. Obviously, I don’t plan on being anywhere but the top spot by then.”

Jay White Reflects on Joining NJPW & the Origins of the “Switchblade” Name

Naito on KENTA:

“I’ve changed a lot in the last five years, so I definitely want to see how KENTA’s changed since then. I mean he openly admitted he was a failure in WWE. To be in that much of a hole and stand in an NJPW ring, that’s very similar to the position I was in four years ago.
“I want to see for myself if he has that same kind of resolve, that resolve he says he has. That and because I knew him before, I want to see what kind of match he can produce now. I kind of question a guy who admitted he didn’t produce results abroad just saying he wants in the G1 and here he is, but I do want to wrestle a guy whose back is against the wall like his is.”

Naito says winning the G1 is ‘Destino’:

“All you fans want to see me win both IWGP Heavy and Intercontinental titles. You want to see me be the first double champ, right? For that to happen, winning the G1 first, that’s destino. Producing this G1 is the shortest route to my goals, so I will make it happen. You can rest easy on that, so stay tranquilo. Assen na yo.”

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