Naito and White exchange words ahead of first title match in historic Double Gold Dash at Wrestle Kingdom
At a press conference in Tokyo today, an IWGP Intercontinental Championship match was made official for the first night of Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. This will be the first match in the Double Gold Dash that will see winners of this bout and Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi’s Jan.4 main event face off in a double championship match on January 5.
Tetsuya Naito, as challenger, had the right to first comment, but Jay White cut him off to respond to Will Ospreay’s own press conference comments.
White: I couldn’t help but hear Ospreay talk and talk. I guess everybody in the company owes him a huge thank you, because without him, NJPW wouldn’t be here. He carried it all by himself, right? I haven’t heard anyone complain so much about being given opportunities. Let’s go through them: New Japan Cup, you didn’t win. Anniversary main event, against me, you didn’t win that. G1, you didn’t win that. Super J-Cup, didn’t win that, tag league just gone, you didn’t win that either. And yet you still get those opportunities to waste. So here’s an idea. Don’t want the opportunities? Don’t take ’em.
After White’s comments, Naito addressed the title match at hand.
Naito: You don’t get anywhere by waiting. Unless you take a chance for yourself, nothing will come to you. It doesn’t matter what others think, it’s about you. I want to get revenge on Jay White. I don’t want him cutting in on my goal, my ambition. So on January 4 I will be focused entirely on Jay White and the Intercontinental title. On January 5, I will make history as the first double champion.
White: This match, even though I said I wasn’t going to do it, is now official. As has the double title match. Either me, Naito, Okada or Ibushi will be the first double champion. Remember who always backs up what they say? Me. But yet again I’m forced to jump through hoops to get what’s already mine, and that’s the right to be in the double title match.
We have had two singles matches and I have won both of them. Yet I have to face him again? Why? Because he beat Taichi? Maybe you could say he gets a rematch for the title I took from him, but I already beat him in the G1, which cancels that out. It seems to be a pattern here, that people don’t want me succeeding. Let me walk you through it. Madison Square Garden. Sold it out by myself. Now I lost the heavyweight championship, but I don’t get my rematch.
Instead Tanahashi rests for weeks, comes back and says he wants a shot. I say ‘no, the line starts behind me’, so the two of us have a match. I beat him. Clearly the number one contender at that point, right? No, the outdated, overrated Chris Jericho gets a shot. Me next? You’d think, but no. I have to go into the G1, maybe the best in terms of a field of wrestlers, to get my shot, and the referee screwed me then as well.
So I have to go about it a different way. I take this (Intercontinental Championship) because that’s my ticket, and I still have to face Naito again. But after I keep this on January 4 and win the double title match on January 5, nobody, not wrestlers, fans, the office itself, can deny that I am the best.
One more thing, why is there no smiling, Naito? When you came out in Osaka, too, no smile. In Destruction, lots of smiling, I thought that was fun.
(No response from Naito)
He’s upset because in two years I’ve taken everything he wants to get but he can’t get there. I’m 27, and even before then I was a triple crown, US Heavyweight, Intercontinental champion. Went to the G1 by beating him! I read once that there was a vote and he was supposed to be in the main event. Maybe he’s worried he’ll have his dream taken from him again. All this was his idea and I’m going to take it, I’m going to take it all from him, and that’ll be fun.
Questions from press:
–There was a fan vote about whether the public wanted to see a double title match, and the response was positive. You have bad memories about fan votes in the past. Your thoughts this time?
Naito: All this was my idea, my ambition in the first place. It has nothing to do with what fans think, but I’m happy that it’s happening. It’s all a sign that Naito’s resurgence will take place.
White: Me and you are on the same page with that one, but it’ll be sad for you that I’ll win it all in the end.
–To both men, if you were to win your match on January 4, who would you like to face in the main event on January 5?
Naito: In 2018, I wrestled Kazuchika Okada in the main event in the Tokyo Dome. He said in the ring that being in the Tokyo Dome main event is amazing, but winning is even better. I want to know what that feels like, and I want to beat him to do it.
White: You won’t know what that’s like, but I can tell you. I beat Okada in 14 minutes to beat him last year. It felt pretty good. Something else, like this and the heavyweight championship that you’ll keep chasing and never catch.
For me, it doesn’t matter. No difference. All it is is a figure that has what I want. Okada will be the easiest one since I already beat him, but I’d like to slap the piss out of Ibushi, and make sure the referee doesn’t get involved this time.