NJPW: Why They Should Begin To Utilize Tetsuya Naito


With some of the top stars leaving NJPW, now is the time to utilize Tetsuya Naito. 

NJPW landscape looks a lot different now than it did before Wrestle Kingdom 10. AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows are all set to leave for WWE. With Nakamura and Styles leaving it cuts into NJPW top 4. Since 2013, Styles and Nakamura along with Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi were the top 4 stars in NJPW.

With Styles and Nakamura leaving it leaves a huge void at the top of the card. When situations like this happen it creates an opening with the talent still around to jump up and elevate themselves to the main event card. Even with these four leaving NJPW still has an abundance of stars.

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NJPW stars such as Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, and Katsuyori Shibata have all elevated their games over the last year. These three could easily be used in the main event picture going forward. However, there is one star in NJPW that the company needs to utilize, Tetsuya Naito.

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Ever since the summer, Naito has elevated himself into one of the top heels not only in NJPW but in the entire wrestling world. Before his transformation over the summer, Naito for the last few years has had a tough time connecting with the fans.

Naito though a face during this time got booed out of arena’s and just could not click with the crowd. After winning the G1 Climax Tournament in 2013, the fans voted that they would rather see Nakamura vs Tanahashi in the main event rather than Naito.

As a fan of NJPW for the last few years, I can say that Tetsuya Naito was very forgettable. I feel into a habit of confusing Naito with Kota Ibushi. The only way I was able to tell the two apart was by looking at their ring gear. Ibushi always wears blue while Naito had always worn red.

This changed though during the summer at the G1 Climax Tournament. After leaving NJPW in the spring for a tour in Mexico Naito changed in both personality and style. Naito joined CMLL, soon after he aligned himself with the villainous stable Los Ingobernables.

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  • After coming back to NJPW, Tetsuya Naito started wearing suits and masks to the ring and started acting differently. Naito started to act like he didn’t care anymore about either his matches or the fans. His heelish persona and attitude helped him score huge victories over Hiroshi Tanahashi and AJ Styles in the G1 Climax Tournament.

    Naito then started forming the Los Ingobernables stable in NJPW aligning himself with Evil and Bushi. Naito has become one of the best heels in wrestling. His cold demeanor and lack of compassion towards others including the refs and cameraman has really put him over.

    With Nakamura and Styles gone now is the time to elevate Naito into the main event picture. During the G1 Climax Tournament Naito showed he could hang with the best NJPW has to offer. He can also continue to make Los Ingobernables the hottest faction in the wrestling world.

    With The Bullet Club in shambles with three of its members departing NJPW and possibly a few more as well, Los Ingobernables could become the new heel group in NJPW. Los Ingobernables could become the new faction to feud with the popular stable Chaos in NJPW.

    With Nakamura being stripped of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship an idea could be having Naito defeat Kenny Omega for the vacant championship. This would help elevate both Tetsuya Naito and Los Ingobernables.

    With Okada holding the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and being a member of Chaos having Naito win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship would help Los Ingobernables match Chaos as both factions would have the two top championships in NJPW.

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    Another route NJPW could go down is having Naito win the New Japan Cup in the spring. By winning the New Japan Cup Naito can choose to fight for any singles title he wants to. Naito could then fight Okada and win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

    Having Naito win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Okada would help create a new star and help dawn a new era in NJPW. With the roster in a state of change now is the time to put the top heel in NJPW, Tetsuya Naito, into the main event picture.