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Tetsuya Naito On Being in His 10th G1 Tournament and Facing Toru Yano

July 19, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Tetsuya Naito NJPW

– Tetsuya Naito spoke with NJPW ahead of his first match in the G1 Climax 29 for a new interview. Highlights are below:

On the G1 29 being his 10th G1: “That’s right. To be honest, it’s made me think ‘Man, have I really been in that many times? I remember when I was going into my first G1 I heard the list of names and the people that were making their 11th, 12th, 13th entries. All of a sudden I’ve become one of those veterans.”

On Minoru Suzuki and YOSHI-HASHI complaining about not making the cut for the G1: “To be honest, they probably needed to make a stronger case for themselves before the lineup was announced. Too little, too late. Eh, it’s better than somebody just accepting it and not doing anything at all, but it’s a case of going ‘oh, so they did want in?’ … Take Suzuki. He doesn’t get in and he’s complaining about the G1, saying ‘how dare you call this the tournament to determine the toughest man of the summer?’ I thought ‘why talk badly about a tournament your lackeys are entering? It’s not like you have the right to say anything you want. You need to be more constructive, offer some idea to make things better.””

On getting the chance to hold both the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and Heavyweight Championship if he wins the G1: “You win the G1 and no questions, no complaints, you get to have an IWGP title shot. That’s why I wanted to have the Intercontinental title going in, and I just about made it.”

On his first G1 match against Toru Yano: “I’ve just mentioned how tough this tournament is and the first person we talk about is anything but. We were talking about the people that make the G1 cut before, and Yano’s name is never someone I’d expect to be in. The last few years I’ve thought ‘why the hell does Yano get to be in?’ … He’s a comedy salesman. But I know there are fans who are interested in seeing if he can pull off some upsets, and he’s different from the average wrestler. I can see why some people might find him interesting.”