IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito has given an update on his recent injuries.
At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18, Tetsuya Naito finally achieved his dream of winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Title in the main event and performing the Los Ingobernables de Japon roll call he was denied in 2020.
However, the star did not emerge from his bout with SANADA unscathed and had blood pouring out from his right eyelid. the injury worried fans as Naito underwent surgery on the same eye back in November to treat upper oblique muscle paralysis, a condition he has already had treated twice in the past.
Speaking to NJPW’s official website, Naito revealed that the injury happened when he and SANADA’s heads met during the last move of the match.
“Right, my eyelid. We clashed heads when I went for that last Destino. So after the match, I got to the back, gave my comments, went to the trainer’s room and got six stitches.”
Natio tried to avoid the stitches but was told there was no choice. According to the star, just getting the anesthetic was painful enough, and he noted that it was the second time it had happened in two weeks as he suffered a similar cut during a show in December.
“I really didn’t want them and asked if there was another way, but didn’t have a choice. Those stitches hurt like hell. And the anesthetic before- can you imagine getting a shot on your eyelid?
“But the doctor’s all happy go lucky about it. Actually on the last Korakuen shows of the year I got hit on the other side, and that was three stitches on that eyelid. So I had nine stitches across two eyes within two weeks of one another.”
Tetsuya Naito Threatened To Destroy NJPW Title Belt
The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was created in 2021 when NJPW controversially decided to permanently unify the Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles despite opposition from fans and wrestlers alike.
During his first press conference after winning the young title for the first time, Tetsuya Naito admitted he might just destroy the belt as he had been against its creation in the first place. He later joked that it seemed that if he did destroy the belt, NJPW would just create a new one with a new name, referencing the Global Heavyweight Title that was established after David Finlay smashed the United States and United Kingdom belts with a hammer.
While he considers whether to keep it, Naito will defend his newly won gold for the first time in a rematch against SANADA on February 24th at The New Beginning in Sapporo.