Earlier this year, WWE reached out to Tetsuya Naito sometime after NJPW Dominion (June), but Naito turned down the offer, according to Tokyo Sports. At Dominion, Chris Jericho defeated Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
As translated by NJPW Announcer Chris Charlton, Naito didn’t have to think long about the prospect of going to WWE.
“I didn’t even give it a thought,” Naito said. “This New Japan ring is already the world’s number one stage. The fans know this. That’s why I think we should focus on our home crowd before looking international.”
Naito, a one-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, is arguably the most popular wrestler in Japan as the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon. Naito has also won MVP two years in a row in the Tokyo Awards, being only the fifth to achieve this along with Antonio Inoki, Jumbo Tsuruta, Genichiro Tenryu, and Kazuchika Okada.
At Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4, Naito will face Chris Jericho for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and has made it clear he’s not interested in Jericho for his time in WWE, it’s about what Jericho has done in NJPW with multiple sneak attacks on members of LIJ.
“You should understand that I have no interest in ‘WWE Superstar’ Chris Jericho,” Naito said. “What I want to do is get revenge for what happened in a New Japan ring.”