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SANADA Wants To Fill Every Venue as IWGP Champion

4 months ago Masahiro Kubota | Monthly Puroresu

Masahiro Kubota | Monthly Puroresu

SANADA Wants To Fill Every Venue as IWGP Champion

By: R. Faliani

The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito is looking to face his former partner in Los Ingobernables, SANADA, in a rematch for their Wrestle Kingdom affair, in the legendary Tokyo Dome. In today’s press conference for New Beginning in Sapporo, Naito and SANADA not only looked fancy but had a lot to express to their opponents.

Naito and SANADA are former partners, but former rivals too. As IWGP World Champion, the leader of Just 5 Guys got a lot of momentum at first, and while he was reigning as the monarch of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Naito reacted to everything that was going on, and one of the critiques he had for the champion was the need for presence to grow.

After Naito defeated SANADA and Okada left the company, it seemed like New Japan started a new chapter in its long history, and not only did it need said presence, but a true leader that would raise the bar for every wrestler in the company. His defeat was a tough blow, but SANADA is looking to regain his position with the best version of himself. Based on the report from Tokyo Sports, the former IWGP World Champion wants to restart his journey and bring new eyes to the company as a monarch.

“I’m going into this title match with the best version of SANADA ever. To tell you the truth, I have nothing but confidence right now.”
“When I was the champion, I only had title matches with wrestlers who were younger than me, but I would like to have title matches with veterans. My goal is to fill each venue.”

NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 2024 Preview

The IWGP World Champion listened to every word from SANADA, but in true Naito fashion, decided to critique his approach and his motivations, questioning if he felt what he was saying. As “Ingobernable” as always, Naito dropped a harsh response to everything his former partner said:

“I feel that SANADA’s comments are not very heartfelt. If he feels that way, that’s good. But if he doesn’t, he shouldn’t say things like which venues you would like to fill. I don’t think it’s a very heartfelt comment. Nothing resonates with me.”

Naito is not only looking forward to this match but the classic IWGP World Champion vs. IWGP Jr. Champion bout on March 6th, in Ota Ward. Such an important and prestigious match is taking attention away from Naito, who is looking to defeat SANADA and simply move on:

“If I defend my belt, will I face Desperado or SHO? Whichever I face, it will be my first singles match, so I’m looking forward to it.”
“After that, my next title defenses will be against the winner of the NEW JAPAN CUP, and whoever challenges me at Ryogoku, in April. After that, I have a singles match scheduled with Jon Moxley in Chicago, and I would love to fight him for the belt.”

The IWGP World Champion is a busy man, but thinking ahead of his title defense against SANADA could be his doom if the J5G leader defeats him and wins the IWGP belt. Whatever happens in Sapporo will set the tone for the next months. Who knows if the one we see fighting Moxley in Chicago is not SANADA.