Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tetsuya Naito's Coming for War of the Worlds

Naito joins the NJPW party
Photo via Culture Crossfire
The latest New Japan Pro Wrestling name to make it over for the War of the Worlds series with Ring of Honor is none other than Tetsuya Naito. He's the first wrestler to be announced who didn't make it over for the NJPW excursion last year, and it will be his first time in America to wrestle since his excursion in 2009, where he wrestled with TNA in the No Limit tag team. Since then, he's captured the 2013 G1 Climax tournament title and been featured heavily in the upper card for NJPW, although he hasn't gotten over as well as the company would have liked him to. He was also involved in a feature match against AJ Styles at WrestleKingdom 9, which got some critical acclaim.

While Naito isn't an extreme fan-favorite like Shinsuke Nakamura or Tomoaki Honma or a tippy-top guy like Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kazuchika Okada, his arrival for War of the Worlds makes sense. He's an upper-card hand and a solid name that helps flesh out the visiting party. He's not my cup of tea in the small sample size I've seen of him, but he's still around his prime and could very well surprise given the right opponent. He's not the wrestler I'd have picked to bring over, but I'm not exactly hating it either.