Monday, July 22, 2024
Tetsuya Naito

Tetsuya Naito

Born:
06/22/1982
,
Adachi, Tokyo, Japan
Birthname:
Tetsuya Naito
Height & Weight:
5'11"
,
225 Ib

Titles Won:

  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship (6 times)
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship – with Yujiro Takahashi
  • IWGP Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Yujiro Takahashi (1), and Sanada (1)
  • NEVER Openweight Championship
  • G1 Climax (2013, 2017)
  • New Japan Cup (2016)

Naito began training for a professional wrestling career in 2000, initially under Animal Hamaguchi before joining NJPW in 2004, where he underwent further training. He is a former NEVER Openweight Champion, and a former IWGP Tag Team and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with former No Limit partner Yujiro Takahashi. In addition, Naito is the winner of the 2013 and 2017 editions of the G1 Climax, NJPW’s premier singles tournament, and of the 2016 New Japan Cup.

Regarded as one of the most popular and successful wrestlers in NJPW history, In 2016 and 2017, Tokyo Sports awarded Naito with the MVP Award, the publication’s highest honor. In 2020, Naito became the first person to hold both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at the same time, accomplishing that feat twice, becoming a three-time IWGP Heavyweight and record six-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

Naito’s signature taunt, where he widens his eye with his thumb and index finger is known as “Abre los Ojos” (“Open Your Eyes”). Naito came up with the taunt in 2009 during his Mexican excursion, where local fans hurled racially-charged taunts at him for his narrow eyes. The taunt has since also been used by, among others, baseball player Shinnosuke Ogasawara and Yuki Kashiwagi of idol group AKB48.

Notable Feuds: vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, vs. Hirooki Goto, vs. Kazuchika Okada, vs. Chris Jericho