Tetsuya Naito Credits SANADA’s Ability In NJPW But Doesn’t Think He Is A Superstar

Photo Credit: AEW

Tetsuya Naito respects SANADA, but doesn’t think he is a superstar in NJPW.

The LIJ leader spoke on this topic during a recent interview with NJPW ahead of the G1 Climax. Hear what he had to say about the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion below.

Thinks SANADA is a great competitor but doesn’t consider him a superstar:

If I don’t say something (about SANADA), that means there’s nothing to say. He’s the champion, but he isn’t standing out like he should. If you grabbed a random fan off the street somewhere in the world and asked them who the champion in New Japan is, they would have to really think about it at best, right? That’s where SANADA is. He won the New Japan Cup, and he took the belt, so there is no denying his ability. He just isn’t a superstar. That’s why when you asked me who I want to face the G1, I didn’t answer SANADA because he’s the champion. I answered with Shingo Takagi and Yota Tsuji. Kazuchika Okada would be a big final as well. Me and SANADA, not so much.

On getting weighed in with Shota Umino, Yota Tsuji and Ren Narita:

I thought someone had screwed up at first (with the Reiwa Three Musketeers announcement). Like they weren’t supposed to post it on main, or they didn’t mean to send the tweet from their drafts or something. I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was in Mexico at the time, and I just couldn’t help but wonder just why NJPW were pushing that out. It was hardly a very impactful way of putting it out there anyway, and then if it was me, I would hate to be lumped together with the other two like that. I was definitely wondering how they would react though, especially Tsuji. I was glad to see he didn’t disappoint. No way (did I ever want that label). I wasn’t hot on the New Musketeers — in my mind, it was done with Chono, Muto and Hashimoto. It just feels like dragging it out needlessly to attach ‘new’ to this or ‘Reiwa’ to that. Rather than being stuck in the past, better to make something new.

Natio lost his first round match against Jeff Cobb at this morning’s G1 Climax opener.

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