Highlights from the August 31 Wonderland interview on New Japan World
On the G1: He was always confident he would win, throughout the G1. He prepared for his A Block opponents by watching their matches on NJPW world.
On Ibushi Kota: He doesn’t regret what he said earlier about Ibushi only wrestling a few times a year. He always was a great wrestler and had charisma, but Naito didn’t see any progresssion from him or anything new about him during the match.
Naito is often excited to wrestle in different venues. His favorite place to wrestle was Kagoshima Arena.
Act City Hamamatsu was the place where a teenage boy gave Naito the middle finger, about 5 years ago.
On Kenny Omega: Naito highly praises Kenny. It was the most exciting match for him. Naito referts to him as a ‘nimble-minded wrestler’. This is because he has wrestled in many countries, for many companies, so he has a great ability to adapt to any situation. Also, he has many ideas and visualizes matches (this is what Niato supposes). Naito felt like Kenny was a completely different wrestler than a year ago in G1.
On using ‘Stardust Press’ (his old finisher) during the G1 final: He doesn’t want to deny his old self, even though he has many regrets looking back. He hadn’t used ‘Stardust Press’ because it wasn’t nessesary for him. However, he got so excited in the final, because of his opponent, Omega, and the crowd, so he used it without thinking.
Next series, Road to Destruction and Tokyo Dome
On Facing ishii: Since Ishii lost 5 times during G1, Naito thinks there are many hints he can learn from those matches. Ishii hasn’t said anything about challenging Naito for the Tokyo Dome contract, he wants Ishii to express how he feels or what he wants. If Ishii doesn’t want the match, then it’s unnessesary to fight.
On Okada vs EVIL: He expectats Okada to win, although he is hopeful for EVIL. He wants to face EVIL in the Tokyo Dome.
-Does he ever get scared before a match?
-No. But he always thinks that the situation a loss creates, and that motivates him to win.
-Which move hurt him the most during G1?
-Kenny Omega’s V-trigger. Kenny uses this repeatedly because it doesn’t consume a lot of engery (Naito supposes).
-What did you think about the Sanada vs EVIL match?
-Felt EVIL’s frustration, from losing to SANADA. He always noticed EVIL’s jealousy for SANADA.
-Hiroshima Carps first-pitch ceremony
-He felt pressured from the attention from the Carp players, although he did have fun. He wants to do it again.
Message for fans
We, LIJ, will keep entertaining, for the next season, too. Wait for the opening event on Sept 5th. Until then, tranquilo!