Tetsuya Naito NJPW G1 Climax 33
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Tetsuya Naito Comments On Winning NJPW G1 Climax 33

Tetsuya Naito says he had a pretty good summer following his win in the NJPW G1 Climax 33.

Naito defeated Kazuchika Okada in the tournament finals on August 13. With the victory, he became a three-time NJPW G1 Climax winner. He won the competition in both 2013 and 2017.

At the NJPW G1 Climax 33 Press Conference, Naito discussed his victory. (Transcription credit of NJPW’s official website.)

“This is my third win, first in six years,” Tetsuya Naito said. “Everybody in this tournament is in it to win it, so I’m obviously happy to win. For me, I’ve always associated the G1 final with the middle of summer and with Ryogoku, so to have that final in Ryogoku, in mid summer, and of course to have the fans cheering as well, to have that big chant of ‘De Ja Pon!’ felt damn great. I think I had a pretty good summer.”

When asked to compare this victory to his other G1 Climax wins, Naito highlighted his age and his injuries as factors that made it feel more urgent. He stated that he didn’t have many chances left, so he had a lot more on the line.

“…With my injuries, and my age as well, I didn’t have, don’t have many more chances left. That’s what I had in mind. I didn’t have the luxury of thinking there’s always next year, or the next year, or five years after that,” Tetsuya Naito said. “So I had a lot more on the line I think, and more than my other two wins, I felt that I had to win this time.” 

Naito also made it clear that defeating Okada to win the tournament made it even more special , given their history.

Moving forward, the three-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion will aim to win the gold at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18.