Tetsuya Naito Threatens To Destroy NJPW Title

Tetsuya Naito

Tetsuya Naito should be on cloud nine after winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion but instead, the star is threatening to destroy the belt.

Naito won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship for the first time when he defeated his former Los Ingobernables de Japon teammate SANADA in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 18.

The IWGP World Heavyweight Title, however, has a somewhat controversial history as it came into being when the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was unified with the IWGP Intercontinental Title. Tetsuya Naito had been a three-time holder of the IWGP Heavyweight Title and a record-setting six-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion so perhaps wasn’t thrilled at that history being destroyed when the belts were merged in 2021.

Tetsuya Naito Against IWGP World Heavyweight Title

Speaking at his first press conference as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Tetsuya Naito discussed his mixed feelings towards his new title and took aim at New Japan Pro Wrestling for creating new titles when others are destroyed:

When this belt was made, I was against it right up to the very end. I never had any good thoughts about this title before, and now I have it… it’s complicated. Maybe I have a little more attachment to this belt than I did before the Tokyo Dome, but just a little.

Perhaps the more I hold it, the more attached I’ll become, and if not, well I guess I’ll just toss it. I mean, if you break belts around here they just give you new ones, right? With a different name. Seems there’s precedent.

Naito was referring to the introduction of the IWGP Global Championship at Wrestle Kingdom which was won by David Finlay. Finlay had destroyed both the IWGP UK and US Title belts leading to NJPW announcing the creation of another new title.