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Thread: Tetsuya Naito

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    Tetsuya Naito

    The last big New Japan native we haven't got a thread on yet, and for me he's a weird one to look at.

    He doesn't connect with me every time, I do think he's inconsistent and sloppy in his performances from time to time, he's one that does fall into the NJ heavyweights tropes, but there's a lot of big singles matches where I think he's great and comes off like the biggest star in the company. From memory the LIJ stuff starts up midway through 2015 just before the G1 so there's not much of bland Naito in this time period, even though early 2015 has matches with AJ and Ibushi which are very good as you've imagine.

    His big year to be was 2017 where I thought he was excellent and much better than the other big stars in the company. This year though I have lost nearly all interest in the guy, on a random night in the G1 I can enjoy a balls to the wall match with Ibushi or Juice Robinson because it's just a tournament match, but when he's messing around with Suzuki in lifeless matches on bigger shows for a title he's done all he can do with it just feels like I'm wasting my time forcing myself to watch a match I don't care about. Not giving Naito the win at the dome last year didn't hurt their business because Okada kept drawing, but it hurt Naito's aura for sure and he doesn't feel like the star he used to be. I don't think he meshed well with Jericho at all, maybe there's better coming this week, but I don't think brawling plunder matches are his game.

    Next year will be a big year for him in relation to how well he does on this list because he could go from someone sitting in the top 25 to missing off completely

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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Yeah I was a huge Naito supporter the last couple years but he absolutely lost me in 2018. His Jericho feud seemed like a hit on paper but it's just been terrible.


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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Mitch View Post
    Yeah I was a huge Naito supporter the last couple years but he absolutely lost me in 2018. His Jericho feud seemed like a hit on paper but it's just been terrible.
    Did the match at WK redeem him from the disappointing match last year?





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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    I've ALWAYS thought he was overrated. Modern narrative tells you he was a big failure prior to ripping off La Sombra, but in actuality many pegged him as a future Ace and strong breakout candidate for years prior and his match with Okada in 2012 got a ton of hype.

    In terms of 2015, I quite enjoyed his NJC run that year against Ibushi and kind of wish we had gotten a prolonged tag run with the two which was tested afterwards. His G1 was marred by BS and wasn't good from a pure wrestling perspective, more focused on getting the character over. 2016 saw him have a decent plunder match with Goto before having a much better NJC against YOSHI-HASHI, Ishii, & Goto which were mostly strong, but also largely due to the other men trying hard to cover for Naito's lackadaisical style. I thought his title win was totally shit and his defense against Ishii again was largely a one man show because of Ishii. His G1 was a big improvement over last year but still not a top performer. I actually quite liked his match vs. Omega near the end as well as great matches vs. Elgin, YOSHI-HASHI, & Honma. Elgin match the month later was good if a bit long, Jay Lethal match was dreadful. Tag run with Rush was quite disappointing. Overall I'd say he had enough good for 2016 to be an average year but even that's stretching it. I wouldn't rank him very highly for either 2015 or 16. 2017 he got the spot against Tana and as Ed said really stepped up and delivered against the Ace, I loved that series of matches and consider it hands down one of the best rivalries of that year. He then had one of the best matches of the G1 against Ibushi to kick things off, along with strong matches against Ishii and Tana. And yet disappointing matches with Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Nagata, & ZSJ, along with dreadful matches against Fale and Makabe, I ranked him 11th overall out of 20. I wouldn't call it a strong positive or negative to his year. Another great match with Ishii solidifies it as a good year but when you take into account his completely shit 2018, I have to say when I actually analyzed his run it's hard for me to see him as any kind of candidate.

    Even in-ring, he doesn't do anything particularly well. I would rate him below average selling and demoting in general and is prone to having a disaster if he's in with the wrong person like Suzuki or Fale, he isn't someone that can carry matches...I dunno. I really don't see much in him outside of character work . Solid no. Even with a strong year there are just too many good candidates.
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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    I wouldn't call last year shit from an in-ring perspective, the big matches with Suzuki were bad and there were a couple of G1 matches that didn't do it for me but I still think there was a lot of quality in his year. I really like his cup match with Zack, I think he got more out of Taichi in the cup than anyone did all year, I think he had a underrated match with Yoshi Hashi at New Beginning and half his G1 matches were great. I'd say his year was more inconsistent than shit, but inconsistency is gonna hurt in lists like this. I do mean to watch his Okada match again when I'm in not so much of a New Japan critical mood.

    Also off to a good start this year with my WK MOTN with Jericho.

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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Again though, a lot of his good matches really aren't because of him. That YH match was nearly completely because of YH. That ZSJ match was good & he was good in it, but that was a completely ZSJ match, & we saw a much better version with Tana in the final. Those Taichi matches were like ** specials & I disagree, Tana's & Ospreays Taichi matches were better. Naito had a good G1 against a bunch of great wrestlers, and even then he himself was not on point during many of his matches, sloppily getting through & not really selling well against anyone. Those 2 Suzuki matches were absolutely atrocious. Look, it just wasn't a good year. Mediocre at best. 2015/16 were even worse.

    The Jericho match at WK is arguably his best singular performance outside of that Tana series. But even then that's 3/5 bad-below average years. Even if he has a WOTY caliber year, I just can't see 50 guys not being better in total. I'd take YH over him in a heartbeat since you brought his match up. And in a list like this? Pass.
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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Quote Originally Posted by 2019 Zero
    Those Taichi matches were like ** specials
    Quote Originally Posted by 2018 Zero
    Naito/Taichi: ***1/2

    Lets not pretend the match was shit because it suits the argument. In fairness in the thread you were more critical of the match than the majority opinion of it being a great match, but it was hardly different league to the Tana and Will matches.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on him being mediocre for 3 of the last 4 years.

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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Those matches weren't special at all. That had to be some kind of typo. I for sure thought Tanahashi 's match was better and my post is alluding to it not being special. Ospreay's I thought was actually clearly the best of the 3.

    If you can point me to why you think his 2015/16 were good be my guest.
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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    The thing is with Naito is that he is VERY inconsistent. Some matches deliver, some fail to hit the mark. Like the Sabre match last year. The NJ Cup match was good, the G1 match wasn't upto that level. Stuff like that for most of the years.
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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Top 3 Naito matches I need to see? Preferably not against Ishii.

    always thought he was a lesser Mutoh disciple than Tanahashi and pretty vanilla workrate kinda worker. He can occasionally work a fairly smart match but is otherwise really bland, guilty of all the usual NJPW main event tropes, and I have hated what I have seen of his big interference heavy heel run. If I was doing a list today I’m not sure he’d make Top 100.

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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Tanahashi vs Naito at WK11 is probably my favourite match of his. Naito vs Omega G1 finals pretty good too. Though I don't think you'll like that


    Yeah, to me, Naito isn't a workrate guy and someone who's more dependent on his character psychology. He's fairly inconsistent and is very lazy at times with things.


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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    thought Naito-Omega was OK but wildly overrated. all the good parts were largely Omega either way.

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    Re: Tetsuya Naito

    Watched

    Naito vs Zack Sabre Jr., 3/11/18

    I remember Naito being pretty technical competent before so was hoping we'd get to see that side of him here, but nope, he offered basically nothing during the early mat-based sections and if anything made Zack's submissions look too easy to lock in. Then they proceeded to have a long, boring workrate-y match with both guys running through their usual shit and doing some real piss poor, phoned-in-to-the-point-the-wrestlers-looked-bored level strike exchanges. Naito hits 3 Destinos for the win, which is still one of most convoluted looking finishers in wrestling. I feel people may have dug this but, sorry, I really didn't, and the crowd was dead throughout also.

    I have to wonder how high the Naito fans will rate him (Top 40? Top 20???). I'd be more inclined to have Omega in my Top 50 than him.

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