Tetsuya Naito is a profressional wrestler from Japan. He is currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).
In the year 2000, when he was 18 years old, Naito started training for a career in professional wrestling. Until 2004, he was trained by Heigo Hamaguchi, a retired professional wrestler better known by his ring name Animal Hamaguchi. Subsequently, he signed for NJPW in 2004 and started training in their dojo.
Naito made his profressional wrestling debut on 27 May, 2006. Since then, he has become a IWGP Heavyweight Champion, IWGP Intercontinal Champion and NEVER Openweight Champion. No other wrestler has managed to capture all three titles – Naito is the only Triple Crown Champion.
Naito has also had success together with Yujiro Takahashi. Together, they won both the IWGP Tag Team Championship and the IWGP Junior Heawyweight Tag Team Championship.
Examples of other victories on Naito’s long resume are his two victories in NJPW’s singles tournament (2013, 2017), and him winning the New Japan Cup in 2016.
Short facts about Tetsuya Naito
|Japanese name||内藤 哲也 (Naitō Tetsuya)|
|Transcribed name||Tetsuya Naito|
|Born||On 22 June, 1982, in Adachi, Tokyo, Japan|
|Trained by||Animal Hamaguchi
|Professional wrestling debut||27 May, 2006|
|Billed height||1.80 metres|
|Billed weight||102 kg|
|Wrestling ring names||Naito
|Wrestling nick names||“El Ingobernable” (Spanish for The Ungovernable)
|Wrestling entrance themes||“Jumping High” by Yonosuke Kitamura
“No Limit” by 2 Unlimited
“Du hast” by Rammstein
“Stardust” by Kazsin
Random facts about Tetsuya Naito
- In the video game Yakuza 6 (released in 2006), Naito appears as one of the members of the gang Justis.
- Naito is a fan of the Hiroshima Toyo Capr baseball team. In 2017, he did a shirt collaboration with them.
- Naito’s signature taunt is to widen his eye using his thumb and index finger. This taunt is known as “abre los ojos” which means “open your eyes”. He has been using this taunt since 2009, when locals in Mexico mocked him for his narrow eyes and Naito started using the taunt as a response.
- Tokyo Sports crowned him Wrestler of the Year for both 2016 and 2017.
- He is rumored to enjoy casino games and binary options trading. Binary options are financial instruments that allow you to “bet” on the future market value of stocks and other financial instruments. Binary options are similar to sports betting in many ways. They are part luck, part skill and skilled traders can earn a lot of money. You can learn more about binary options here. We do not know how much Naito gambles and trades with binary options. Nor do we know how good he is at it. We just know that we have heard that he liked to gamble. A rumor that might not even be true.
Wrestling before the professional debut
- Naito won the Takeda Dojo Submission tournament in 2004. This was what gave him the opportunity to sign up with NJPW.
- In November 2005, Naito graduated from the NJPW dojo and was given a spot on the promotion’s roster, by performing well in a public audition in Korakuen Hall.
Naito wrestled his first match as a part of the NJPW roster on 27 May, 2006. He lost this match to Takashi Uwano.
Naito won his first professional wrestling match on 29 October, 2006, against Mitsuhide Hirasawa.
When another wrestler was forced to abstain from the 2007 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, Naito replaced him and finnished last in Block B, winning 2 matches and losing 4. He earned 4 points by winning over Gedo and El Samurai.
Naito and fellow rookie Yujiro Takahashi formed the tag team No Limit. One of their first victories was against Takao Omori and Osamu Namiguchi from Zero1. In May, No Limit defeated Osaumu Namiguchi and Shito Ueda. In October, No Limit won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship by defeating Devitt and Minoru.
NJPW has a tradition of sending their young wrestlers abroad to gain work experience outside Japan. Naito and his tag team mate Yujiro was sent to the United States, where their team No Limit chiefly worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) for two months.
After that, they went south to Mexico where they made their debut for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in Mexico City on 29 May, 2009, teaming up with Dos Caras, Jr. to defeat a team consisting of Héctor Garza, La Sombra and Volador, Jr.
In Mexico, No Limit was showcased as “Anti-Mexican bad guys” and they soon formed the team La Ola Amarilla (The Yellow Wave) with Okumura to take on mexican teams.
Storyline feud between No Limit and Black Warrior
Black Warrior is the ring name of mexican professional wrestler Jesus Toral López (b. 1969).
|July||No Limit teams with Black Warrior to defeat a mexican team.
After the match, Black Warrior makes a challenge on behalf of Yuijor (who doesn’t speak Spanish) for a “Hair vs. Hair” match with Garza. This leads to a 15-man steel cage Luchas de Apuestas match. Naito wins by pinning Toscano, forcing him to have his hair shaved off. During the cage match, Black Warrior switched sides and turned on the No Limit team, thus starting the storyline feud with No Limit.
|September||Jyushin Thunder Liger tours Mexico and joins the Anti-Mexico fraction. He teams up with No Limit and Okumura and they successfully defeat a mexican team that includes Black Warrior.|
|October||Black Warrior faces Yujiro in a Lucha de Apuesta Hair vs. Hair match. Yujuro wins two falls to one, forcing Black Warrior to have his hair shaved off.
This marks the end of the storyline feud.
Return to Japan & NJPW
Naito and Yujiro returned to Japan and NJPW and participated in NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom IV show in Tokyo Dome on 4 January, 2010. At this event, they successfully defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) and Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson) in a three-way hardcore match that gave them the WIGP Tag Team Campionship title.
The Invasion Tour 2011
In 2011, Naito participated in The Invasion Tour; NJPW’s first tour of the United States. As a part of this tour, he defeated Josh Daniels in New Jersey in the first stage of the inagrual IWGP Intercontinental Championship and proceeded to the seminfal stage. At the semifinals in New York, Naito was defeated by MVP.
The end of No Limit
On May 26, 2011, the No Limit team was dissolved.
Singles success (2011–2015)
Examples of highlights from Naito’s career as a single wrestler in 2011-2015:
- In the summer of 2011, Naito worked one month for the CMLL in Mexico.
- From late 2011 to early 2012, Naito had a storyline feud with Shinsuke Nakamura. This led to a singles match in February 2012 from with Naito emerged victorious.
- Naito scored a big win over Kazuchika Okada at the 2012 G1 Climax tournament.
- Naito underwent reconstructive knee surgery in October 2012, after sustaining an injury at the G1 Climax tournament. Naito returned to the ring in June 2013, at the Dominion 6.22, where he defeated Takahashi.
- Naito won the 2013 G1 Climax, eliminating Tanahashi in the final match. This earned Naito a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he proclaimed that he first wanted to do a rematch against Masato Tanaka over the NEVER Openweight Championship. Naito defeated Tanaka on 29 September at Destruction.
- In January 2014, Naito entered into a new storyline feud with Tomohiro Ishii. The following month, Naito lost the NEVER Openweight Championship to Ishii.
- In May 2015, Naito participated in the NJPW/ROH tour of the United States and Canada.
After the NJPW/ROH tour of May 2015, Naito remained in North America as the other NJPW wrestlers returned back to Japan. He travelled south to Mexico and joined the CMLL for a tour, where he teamed up with La Sombra as a part of the stable Los Ingobernables.
Formation of Los Ingobernables de Japon (2015)
Naito returned to Japan and NJPW in the summer of 2015, with a new look and wrestling persona, announcing that he now represented Los Ingobernables in Japan.
During a match at King of Pro-Wrestling in October, the returning Takaaki Watanabe (EVIL) was revealed as Naito’s new partner. Soon, the two was joined by Bushi to form the stable Los Ingobernables de Japon.
In March 2016, Naito won the New Japan Cup by defeating Hirooki Goto, a wrestler with whom Los Ingobernables de Japon had been in a feud with since October 2015.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion
At the Invasion Attack 2016, Naito defeated Kazuchika Okada with help from his stablemates Bushi, Evil and the debuting Seiya Sanada to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the first time.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
In November 2016, Naito won the IWGP Intercontinental Championship by defeating Michael Elgin. After successfully defending his title several times, Naito lost it to Hiroshi Tanhashi in June 2017.
2017 G1 Climax
In August 2017, Naito won his second G1 Climax. In the final match, he defeated Kenny Omega.
- Destino (Somersault reverse DDT)
- Pluma Blanca (Koji clutch)
- Stardust Press (Corkscrew moonsault)
- Dragon suplex
- Evolucion (Swinging leg hook Samoan drop)
- Flying forearm smash
- German suplex
- Gloria (Lifting hammerlock cradle hold dropped into a sitout side powerslam)
- Leg scissors cross kneelock
- Multiple kick variations
- Missile drop
- Rolling wheel
- Slingshot corner drop
- Polvo de Estrella (Modified hammerlock cradle)
- Somersault senton
- Super hurricanrana
- Swing Destino (Inverted tornado DDT from the middle rope)
- Tornado DDT
Double-team finishing move with Evil
- Out of Control (Double-team gorilla press slam)
Double-team finishing moves with Yujiro Takahashi
- Limitless Dream (Powerbomb (Yujiro) + Neckbreaker (Naito)
- Limitless Evolution (Double-team gorilla press slam)
- Limitless Explosion (Wheelbarrow facebuster (Naito) + Cutter (Yujiro)
Championship wins & other accomplishments and awards
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship ( 1 time)
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship ( 1 time)
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship ( 1 time) – with Yujiro Takahashi
- IWGP Tag Team Championship ( 1 time) – with Yujiro Takahashi
- NEVER Openweight Championship ( 1 time)
- G1 Climax ( 2013, 2017)
- New Japan Cup ( 2016< )
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling Best Bout (2016)
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling MVP (2016)
- First Triple Crown Champion
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Ranked No. 12 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016 and 2017
MVP Award 2016 and 2017
When Tokyo Sports named Naito the 2016 MVP in all of Japanese professional wrestling, it was the first time since 2010 that this award didn’t go to either Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kazuchika Okada. Naito won the award with a huge margin during the first round of voting, getting 18 of 21 votes.
In December 2017, Naito was announced as the fifth wrestler ever to win consecutive Tokyo Sports MVP Awards.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- 5 Star Match (2016) vs. Kenny Omega on 13 August
- 5 Star Match (2017) vs. Michael Elgin on 11 February
- 5 Star Match (2017) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi on 11 August
- 5¾ Star Match (2017) vs. Kenny Omega on 13 August
- Most Charismatic (2017)
- Best Gimmick (2017) Los Ingobernables de Japon
Luchas de Apuestas
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date|
|Naito (hair)||Toscano (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Infierno en el Ring||31 July,
|El Texano, Jr. and El Terrible (hair)||No Limit
(Yujiro and Naito) (hair)
|Mexico City, Mexico||Sin Salida||4 December,