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Tetsuya Naito Prepares for Sanada and Awaits Yota Tsuji

5 months ago Thom Fain | Monthly Puroresu

Thom Fain | Monthly Puroresu

Tetsuya Naito Prepares for Sanada and Awaits Yota Tsuji

The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito is preparing for his first title defense against SANADA, but he’s keeping an eye on Yota Tsuji.

By: R. Faliani

The main event of Wrestle Kingdom 18 saw Tetsuya Naito defeat SANADA and achieve his final destino in the company, by becoming IWGP World Heavyweight champion. As Naito arguably inherits the Ace mantle in New Japan, SANADA wants to steal what’s his back from his former senpai in Los Ingobernables de Japon, building on a title reign that remains overlooked in the wider world of pro-wrestling.

Naito’s concerns don’t end with SANADA. The newest member of LIJ, Yota Tsuji, has seemingly manifested a title feud with Naito. Such is Tsuji’s insistence that it has finally reached Naito, and he has said he’s interested in going toe-to-toe with him.

Tsuji is no stranger to the spotlight. He’s the only one of New Japan’s new blood who has reached for the proverbial brass ring, fighting then-IWGP World Heavyweight champ SANADA in an excellent match last year. If Naito retains against SANADA and goes to face Jon Moxley in Chicago, as we might expect, the next contender for his belt could be his own faction mate – Tsuji, whose intentions to beat his fellow dojo classmate Shota Umino to the top are now widely publicized.

As New Japan enters a new era, so does their talent. Tsuji is tired of waiting on the sidelines as a member of LIJ, he’s interested in the biggest fish on the pond, and Naito is also interested in facing his partner and testing him. The Race for the Ace in NJPW continues, and Tsuji is willing to make big moves.

The Uphill Battle for the Reiwa Three Musketeers

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