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