Summary of NJPW interview
“Goto used to be called ‘one of the four’. I don’t know why he decided to join CHAOS. But now he looks like he’s satisfied with just having many friends. What a bummer. I would have gotten excited to fight Goto two years ago. Now, he has lost persona.”
On Zack Sabre Jr.
“I have fought him in a tag match in Britain before. This will be one of the most exciting matches for me. I can experience many technics I never had before. However, his fighting style might be hard to follow for the fans in Ehime (where they will face each other). It would work if it were in Korakuen Hall, but not the hall in Ehime.”
“He has became a very well known wrestler in New Japan. I admit that. He is showing his talent in other fields (such as acting, guesting on variety shows) besides ‘puroresu’. Then, why doesn’t he change his career? But is G1 the place where we fight for name recognization? Because he put of all of his efforts into other fields, he has no possibility to emerge in any title matches.”
“Tanahashi can’t shine without me. Everything he does, it always involves me. He says, ‘I beat Naito… I repaired the (Intercontinental) belt Naito destroyed’. I’m the one who’s name comes the first, then Tanahashi. He used to shine, and I would see that. But now he gets a little reflection from me.”
Interviewer: “Who do you expect to be your opponent in the final? Or who do you want to face?
Naito: “If you ask fans, it will absolutely be either Okada or Kenny Omega. However, my hope is either EVIL or Sanada.”
Interviewer: “Which would you pick if you have to choose one of them?’
Naito: “Then I would pick EVIL. I can see that EVIL sees Sanada as his rival and he is intensely jealous of Sanada. Maybe Sanada is jealous of EVIL, too, but he doesn’t really show his emotions. So, in that case I will choose EVIL. We, L.I.J, are always competing with each other. And we can show the fans more our persona if we fight in such a big event.”
Interviewer: “People are saying that you are the favorite to win the G1. Do you agree?”
Naito: “Yes!” (answers very quickly) I won the G1 in 2013, but back then I couldn’t get to where I wanted to. I couldn’t take advantage of winning the G1. But now, I can go higher and higher than ever. What kind of view do I see from the top? That excites me.”