From Tokyo Sports
Naito on putting the IC title on the line against Jericho
The current IWGP Intercontinental Champion Naito Tetsuya sounds off on his opponent for Dominion, Chris Jericho. Jericho made his appearance in Fukuoka and attacked Naito, and soon after their match was set. However, Naito claims that he knows that Jericho is not interested in the IC title, and he suggests that it should be a non-title match.
Naito called us at Tokyo Sports to a family restaurant the day after his return from an ROH America tour. Even though he’s generally a small eater, this day he ordered, ‘Nikumori! Wild Plate’ (a feast).
The feud dates back to when Jericho attacked Naito at Korakuen on January 5th. “He came to me right after his loss to Kenny at the dome. It’s obvious that he wants me, not the title. So, what’s the point of putting the title on the line? I personally wouldn’t mind if it was a non-title match. I want New Japan to remember that word… yes, tranq-… oh… there are a lot of people around. I should be careful because my fans will notice that I’m here.”
As the champion, Naito doesn’t care if it will be a defense match for him or not. “My value surpasses the title, and Jericho’s world-famous, right? Then, who cares about the title? He has never said that he ‘wants the title’ in the first place. I don’t understand why New Japan made this a title match. I felt the same when I fought against Suzuki. They need to be tranquil-”
Try as Naito did, by the time he finished his meal, there was a line of fans waiting for him. Naito left saying, “Ah… now everybody knows that I’m here. It’s hard to be an ‘estrella’. I don’t want to cause trouble for the restaurant, so I’ll go outside and sign some autographs. So, wait for me here.”
Naito never returned. We were left with the check on the table.