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Tetsuya Naito Will Vacate the IWGP Title if He Loses to SHO

4 months ago Masahiro Kubota | Monthly Puroresu

Masahiro Kubota | Monthly Puroresu

Tetsuya Naito Will Vacate the IWGP Title if He Loses to SHO

By: R. Faliani

After defeating SANADA, the IWGP World Champion Tetsuya Naito has decided to speak on his new opponent, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion SHO, who is aligned to the House of Torture and who will face him on March 6th. The leader of “Los Ingobernables de Japon” was straightforward and said he was going into this match thinking it was a title defense, due to SHO’s interest in fighting for the IWGP belt in this contest.

Based on the report from Tokyo Sports, Naito addressed this from a family restaurant. The Tokyo Sports correspondents who went and had dinner with the IWGP World Champion were actually brought by Naito, who wanted to have some media to cover what he had to say in New Japan Pro Wrestling’s supposed press conference after the show that seemingly got canceled. In this impromptu situation, Naito addressed SHO’s challenge:

“I could feel how much he wanted to win against Naito because he had shamelessly applied for a match. I felt it was a waste that neither I nor the audience got the message until the day of the contest.”

Naito wanted to address SHO’s proposition, but New Japan decided it would only be a non-title defense the same day. While this rocked Naito the wrong way, he quickly changed his mind considering the next title defenses he’ll have in Sakura Genesis against the winner of the New Japan Cup 2024, and potentially against Jon Moxley in Windy City Riot in Chicago.

Although, Naito is focused on winning this bout, and he’ll pretend it’s a title match either way. So he will do everything to win and continue his title reign, obviously with all of this in his mind, because if SHO defeats him, he will not actually lose it. Nonetheless, Naito is thinking about House of Torture:

“Looking ahead to what happens next, I think, They’re going to say I ran away or I’m a coward anyway, aren’t they? They’re going to steal my belt or something even if they lose, aren’t they?
“If I want to go through that kind of trouble, I’ll take the risk myself. I don’t care if I have to give it back if I lose. I’m not sure if the SHO can become the new champion even if he wins since it’s a non-title match. But if you want the belt, why don’t you have a match with the New Japan Cup winner to determine the 9th champion after I vacate the belt?”

When this impromptu meeting ended, Naito actually offered to pay the Tokyo Sports correspondent their respective meals, but when he looked into his pockets, the only thing he had were “Rainmaker” dollars, akin to Kazuchika Okada. He went to his car and got his wallet, but he never appeared again, leaving a slip of paper on the table.