Wrestle Kingdom 14 will forever be known as the crowning of Tetsuya Naito as he won the Double Gold Dash and emerged from January 5 holding both the IWGP World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. Kota Ibushi, the man who proposed the initial idea of the Double Gold Dash, is not mincing words about how he feels about the current champion in NJPW.
Speaking with the official website of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Kota would say that as the only man that entered the Double Gold Dash with nothing at stake, Naito is very devious for pulling off what he did.
“Naito… wasn’t fair,” Kota began. “Of all four of us in that situation, he was the only one who didn’t put anything on the line. But he was the one who ended up winning it all. After he won, how could you think Naito was anything other than a sneaky bastard?
Look, I almost hit rock bottom last year. I was injured in the first G1 match and was at my absolute physical limit before I came back and won the tournament, right? And because of that, I was in the main events almost every night on the road until the Dome. Now, I was the one to propose being in both main events. I have to take responsibility for that. But you have to say that after all was said and done, the one left hurting the most after Wrestle Kingdom was me. Now, I know Naito was the first person to suggest being a double champion. But he wasn’t bringing anything to the table. That just made me think ‘nahh’. I went from nahh, to ‘huh?’ to ‘Whaaat???’ (laughs). Just ‘how is this allowed?’ kind of thing. After all that I’d put in. ”
It appears there’s no love lost between the two former rivals. If you would like to read the full interview, click here.