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Wrestling / Tetsuya Naito

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Tranquilo, Assenayo...note 

EVIL, Bushi, Sanada, Takagi, Hiromu, y Naito...

Tetsuya Naito (born June 22, 1982) is a Japanese baseball player turned professional wrestler, trained by and best known for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).

Naito began training for a professional wrestling career in 2000, initially training under Animal Hamaguchi. In 2004 he won the "Takeda Dojo Submission" tournament, which landed him a contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling to train in their NJPW Dojo.

He joined NJPW officially in 2005, getting valuable experience and even joining the Best of Super Juniors Tournament in 2007 as a replacement entry. In 2008 he would join forces with Yujiro Takahashi to form the Tag Team No Limit, which went on to be very successful, winning both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and Heavyweight Tag championship belts. No Limit would even compete in various promotions like CMLL and Total Nonstop Action.

However in 2011 the team would disband after Takahashi walked out on Naito, kickstarting Naito's singles career. Naito would then go on to challenge in the Heavyweight division, even challenging Kazuchika Okada in championship matches, before ultimately being sidelined with a serious knee injury for eight months.

On his return in 2013, NJPW proceeded to give Naito a massive push, including a run as the NEVER Openweight Champion, and culminating in him winning the 2013 G1 Climax by defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in the finals and earning the right to challenge Kazuchika Okada for the belt at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th. But something went wrong...the fans weren't excited for the confrontation at all, likely due to not perceiving Naito as a worthy challenger. Many fans were much more interested in the Intercontinental Championship match between long time rivals Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura and so NJPW left it to a vote as to which match would main event. The IC Title match won in a landslide and the Heavyweight title match was pushed to the penultimate match, where Naito would fall.

After floating around aimlessly for 2 years following that Naito would return to CMLL to join La Sombra's stable Los Ingobernables. Learning from them, he would return to NJPW with a brand new look, and disrespectful attitude and would then form Los Ingobernables de Japon with EVILnote , Bushi and later on, Seiya Sanada (now just Sanada), with Hiromu Takahashinote  and Shingo Takaginote  joining down the line.

While he would become the second biggest Jerkass NJPW had to offer, the fans took to him, and his act became hot. This led to Naito winning the 2016 New Japan Cup, and then finally winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Arch-Enemy Kazuchika Okada. While he would eventually lose the title back to Okada, he rebounded with an excellent showing in the 2016 G1 Climax (barely missing the final after a five-star match with Kenny Omega went Omega's way), and then defeated Michael Elgin for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Destruction in Kobe in September. In 2017 he would not only win the G1 Climax, he would beat Omega to do it.

As of January 5, 2020 he has become the first ever person to hold both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at the same time.

He is now one of the most over acts in the company and the only question left is... what's next for Naito and Los Ingobernables de Japon? If you'd ask him, he'd just say...Tranquilo.

"Tranquilo, just read the trope list":

  • Always Someone Better: Kazuchika Okada. Following the breakup of No Limit Naito's record against him is absolutely awful, only having two wins against him and one of them required his entire stable plus a new member in Sanada to put him away only for Okada to annihilate him with multiple Rainmakers a few months later. Finally put to rest at Wrestle Kingdom 14, becoming the first person to ever take the IWGP Championship away from a defending Okada in the Main Event of Night 2, becoming the first ever Double Champion in the process.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Kazuchika Okada without a doubt. Constant losses to Okada, including at Wrestle Kingdom 8, sent him down a dark path especially with Okada's usual arrogance. However once Naito returned from his excursion he returned the favor, defeating Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. There's also Hiroshi Tanahashi, who Naito has never forgiven for having an Intercontinental title challenge voted by fans into the main event of WK8 over his own IWGP Heavyweight title shot against Okada. Also notable, Naito is the only person aside from Tanahashi that is able to get Okada to drop his usual demeanor and flip into outright rage and disdain. The proof being the multitude of deadly Rainmakers Okada decapitated Naito with at Dominion 2016. As the first man in five years to win the Tokyo Sports Wrestler of the Year award aside from Tanahashi and Okada, as well as the first IWGP Champion in that same time frame aside from them and former Bullet Club ace AJ Styles, it's clear that Naito has replaced Styles as the third man in their rivalry as well as made it much more heated overall. Furthermore, with Tanahashi's mounting injuries, Okada's historic reign, and Naito's increasing superstardom, it seems Tanahashi has become the clear least of the three, making Okada and Naito the decisive two out of this new rivalry. As time has gone on, his mutual hatred of Okada has faded slightly (mainly because the two only ever seem to wrestle each other once or twice every two years), with him focusing more on a competitive rivalry with Kenny Omega.
    • Now it's Jay White who has almost immediately proven to be his most hated adversary, possibly even moreso than Okada himself. The two stayed away from each other for almost 2 years, before meeting in the G1 Climax. Since then it's been nothing but unrelenting hatred, mainly due to White going out of his way to spite Naito. He defeats Naito in the B Block Final, taking away Naito's best chance at meeting his Double Champion goal. Then, when Kota Ibushi reopens the door by broaching the possibility of him challenging the Intercontinental Champion on Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom if he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Jay White proceeds to win that from him as well and openly remark that he's taking that dream for himself. Notably ever since that lost Naito has been all Tranquil Fury and stares a Death Glare at White at every possible opportunity.
  • Beard of Evil: Returned to NJPW from his CMLL run with a spiffy new one.
  • Big Bad: He ascended to this in 2016 when AJ Styles left and Suzuki-GUN went on excursion. He now shares it with Kenny Omega after the latter's ascension with his win in the 2016 G1 Climax (Omega defeating Naito in the process). Rest assured, that issue will be settled soon enough. As of July 19th, 2018 Kenny is up in the series 2-1. Though Kenny has basically become a Face and arguably Naito as well.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Slowly but surely has grown into this with Hiromu Takahashi, especially after first Hiromu lost his title to KUSHIDA at Dominion, and then even moreso after Bad Luck Fale viciously murdered his Morality Pet, Daryl. Considering Naito's... usual behavior, he outright doted on Hiromu until he was ready to stand on his own two feet again.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a weird dude who will exert himself rolling away from opponents just for more time to lay around but is taken no less seriously than mixed martial arts alums Nakamura or Minoru Suzuki in leading his stable and can go blow for blow with the stiffest, such as Tomohiro Ishii.
  • Catchphrase: Tranquilo.
  • Character Tic: You can see it in the page photo: he tends to adjust his cap by the brim whenever he wears it.
  • Combination Attack: Limitless Dream (Power bomb+neck breaker), Limitless Evolution (Double Gorilla Press), Limitless Explosion (Wheelbarrow Face buster+Cutter) with Yujiro Takahashi. Limitless Evolution is recycled as Out Of Control with EVIL.
  • Darker and Edgier: Went from having a bright and vibrant jacket to black suits and metal masks. Though he ended up switching back to white suits in a Light Is Not Good move.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Over time since his turn to the dark side he has slowly warmed back up to the fans as they have constantly shown him immense support (after turning their back on him in 2013 and him returning the favor). He is now no longer antagonistic to the fans at all.
    • He also became this way toward the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. As noted, his first reign involved him desecrating and destroying the belt at every opportunity (actually requiring Hiroshi Tanahashi to take great pains in restoring the belt once he won it back). His second reign involved him outright ignoring the fact he even won it, only bringing it to his match against Chris Jericho out of contractual necessity and didn't bring it at all otherwise in any other matches. His third reign however has seen him be...well, about as respectful as Naito can be with a belt. He's not destroying it and actually has a bit of pride in being champion, making it a point that he wants to be the first person to simultaneously hold it and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at the same time. This is mainly due to the fact that said belt was the object that saved him against Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 13, something he noted personally.
  • Determinator: Despite his laziness and apathy the man simply won't stay down. One of only three people in history to kick out of Okada's Rainmaker, the others being Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenny Omega.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: No Limit defeated Genba Hirayanagi and Kotaro Suzuki of NOAH's DISOBEY stable in a dark match at ROH The Tokyo Summit but Naito wouldn't become relevant to ROH until the second War Of The Worlds seven years later.
  • Evil Mask: While it doesn't take him over like the trope can suggest, it is something he's taken to wearing ever since his Face–Heel Turn. He's even gotten the rest of Los Ingobernables de Japon in on the act, as everybody (except Hiromu Takahashi) has some kind of mask.
  • Evil Mentor:
    • Had a hand in the training of Kamaitachi, who would run with La Ola Amarilla in No Limit's absence, and has since returned to New Japan as a member of the Ingobernables.
    • Conversely, speaking of the Ingobernables, he was part of the original Ingobernables, whose leading key members at the time were Rush and La Sombra, during his stint in Mexico before returning to Japan and forming LIJ. This means that rather than Sombra being an expy of Naito as some may think, Rush and Andrade pretty much taught Naito how to get over.
  • Finishing Move: Pluma Blanca and Stardust Press, after returning to New Japan has added the Destino.
  • First-Name Basis: He and Yujiro during their run in La Ola Amarilla were on a first name basis with everyone.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Feeling "betrayed" by the NJPW fans, Naito left and toured with CMLL for a couple of months. He returned in June with an all black outfit, and the attitude of The Slacker.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: His first No Limit run in CMLL following the lead of Shigeo "Anti Mexico" Okumura. Tetsuya and Yujiro debuted in CMLL alongside Dos Caras Jr however and Naito would nonchalantly join with Mexicans during his second run, despite remaining on good terms with Okumura.
  • Friend to All Children: Does exchange fist bumps with kids, especially the ones wearing Ingobernables gear.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Peppers a lot of Spanish in his taunts, considering his time in Mexico as part of Los Ingornables and his return to NJPW coinciding with his creation of a spin-off faction. He isn't exactly fluent in it as he's needed a translator most of the time, but it's more than serviceable enough. Many of Naito's signature moves also have Spanish names, including the Gloria, the Valentia, the Esperanza, and his big finisher the Destino.
  • Hot-Blooded: Seemingly despite himself and his desire to do…basically nothing, Naito has a tendency to fall into this in tough matches. Best shown in his wars with Okada and his run through the 2016 G1 Climax. In fact, this was his default mode before the fan preference for Okada got to him.
    • His biggest weakness since turning Tranquilo is that he can no longer control when he goes Hot-Blooded. His first instance was during his match against Kenny Omega in the final of the G1 Climax 2017 where he briefly slipped back into his Stardust Genius persona. While he still won the match, it almost cost him. Then when facing Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 12, he couldn't help himself at all and continuously slipped back into his old persona leading to getting beat by Okada again because he couldn't stop playing to the crowd and firing up. Now, he can't get Hot-Blooded when he actually needs to which has led to multiple defeats in 2018.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Of all the ways wrestlers discovered ways to defeat the formerly undefeated Moose, Naito settled on this after a more conventional 'wear the big man down' approach ended up taking a lot longer than he wanted, Moose of course being too strong to beat directly without unless something could make him less aware of Naito's attempts to set up one of his finishing moves, and Naito's not one to stop using something that works it quickly became routine.
  • Jerkass: The second (or possibly third note ) biggest example in wrestling today...which is saying something considering he shares a promotion with the goddamn Bullet Club! He's lazy, disrespectful to absolutely anyone except Los Ingobernables members and fans wearing their merch, and routinely attacks referees, commentators and announcers. He will mock opponents before and during a match at a frequency not seen since The Rock, he'll spit on them and use every underhanded tactic allowed. Most of this is par for the course but what puts it over the top is his complete disrespect of the titles he wins. NJPW nearly had to replace the IWGP Heavyweight Championship because of his constant abuse towards it, and he destroyed the Intercontinental title to the point that Hiroshi Tanahashi did have to have it fully repaired after winning it back. At least the New World Order and Bullet Club cared about their belts (even with spray paint in the former's time). Oh, and he's also constantly late for meetings and even sleeps through press conferences.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's worn white suits in his entrances, but is also sporting a Beard of Evil and is accompanied by a man who he literally named EVIL. It says something that he has retained both his original set of trunks and theme music even after turning heel.
  • Mob War:
    • Between Naito's stable Los Ingobernables de Japon and Kazuchika Okada's stable CHAOS. It's not uncommon to see an entire card filled with matches between the two. Especially ironic as Naito used to be a part of CHAOS himself. As of the 2016 G1 Climax do not be surprised to see Bullet Club thrown into this. And as of the beginning of 2017, Suzuki-gun is in this mix too.
    • Through the middle of 2017, they've started to maintain a 1v1 mob war with the newly formed stable, Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Ricochet, KUSHIDA and Michael Elgin) who have taken to mocking LIJ's entrances and attire. Naito himself either doesn't care or actually finds it somewhat amusing. The rest of the stable however (especially EVIL and Hiromu Takahashi)...not so much.
  • Noble Demon: Of a sort. Despite bringing up the possibility of having a fan vote to have his Intercontinental title match with Hiroshi Tanahashi main event Wrestle Kingdom 11 over the IWGP Heavyweight match between Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega - a clear Call-Back to how a fan vote caused the Intercontinental title battle between Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura to main event Wrestle Kingdom 8 over Naito's own title shot against Okada for the Heavyweight title, he later claimed that the Heavyweight championship should always main event the Tokyo Dome and settled for being the penultimate match of the night. Of course, part of it also has to do with preventing Tanahashi, one of the men from that same match, from main eventing Wrestle Kingdom again.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Kazuchika Okada at the least has still not forgotten how their match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was voted out of the main event at Wrestle Kingdom 8, and rubbed it in Naito's face on November 3, 2019 (over five years later).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: What he's become after losing his Intercontinental Championship to Jay White. He's no longer his Tranquilo self, and he's not even his Stardust Genius Hot-Blooded self. Against Taichi he didn't even bother to do his usual preening to the crowd, and just disrobed immediately outside the ring and bumrushed him. When it came time for the usual Power Struggle face off to determine the Main Events at Wrestle Kingdom, Naito came out and in a very deathly monotone, declared he wants his title back and his dream is his to fulfill alone. Notably he only took his eyes off of Jay White when Kazuchika Okada came out and decided to once again needle him for the Wrestle Kingdom 8 fan vote. Naito is now done having people take and stomp over his dreams. This Naito is all Serious Business.
  • Perky Female Minion: La 5000% Guapa Mima Shimoda when his first run through Mexico was still fresh in the fans' memory
  • Power Stable
    • A hanger on to the Samurai Gym trio
    • CHAOS
    • La Ola Amarilla in CMLL, then Los Ingobernables, of which he broke off with his on version de Japón.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: No Limit teamed with Shigeo Okumura one last time on day two of NJPW Presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2011 to try and win CMLL's world trios title belts from La Sombra, Máscara Dorada and La Máscara.
  • Red Baron: "Stardust☆Genius", and "Seigyo Funōna Karisuma" ("Uncontrollable Charisma")
  • Running Gag: Every time he wins the G1 Climax to get a World Title shot, something happens that turns Wrestle Kingdom into a so-called "double Main Event". First, his own inability to stay over with the fans on top of an extremely hot and proven matchup with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura not only forced the moniker, but got his and Okada's match demoted. And now, after going for 4 years to finally get his return Wrestle Kingdom matchup against Okada, Chris Jericho decides it would be a good time to wrestle for a non-WWE promotion for the first time in over a decade AND challenge Kenny Omega to do it. At least Naito gets to keep the final match, but Okada has needled him for this.
  • The Rival
    • No Limit's early rivals were Mitsuhide Hirasawa and Apollo 55, with Ryusuke Taguchi teaming with Naito semi regularly and Captain New Japan being with him against CHAOS. Taguchi is one of the most vocal and persistent opponents of Naito's Ingobernables spliter as well.
    • Despite all being members of the CHAOS stable he faced Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Gedo, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Karl Anderson and Jado a lot, so maybe him being kicked out shouldn't have been all that surprising, and with his own group to back him up there are no signs of it slowing down. Goto was the one he teamed with most besides Yujiro Takahashi while a member and after he was booted out. Ishii has been especially important in both his NEVER Openweight and IWGP Heavyweight Title reigns.
    • No Limit frequently teamed up with Hiroshi Tanahashi, Naito joined with him for All Japan's 2008 Champion Carnival, Tanahashi joined with CHAOS to help fight off Great Bash Heel, Naito sought Tanahashi for help fighting CHAOS, and they stood together against Bullet Club. But all the same, it was Tanahashi's match with Nakamura that knocked Naito out of his main event spot, so there is some bitterness on Naito's part, which came out when Tanahashi beat him in a number one contender's match for the IWGP Title at King Of Pro Wrestling. Los Ingobernables de Japón issues soon followed, and now Naito and Tanahashi are set to clash for the IWGP Intercontinental title at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
    • Off the backs of key matches in the 2016 and 2017 G1 Climax tournaments, Naito has developed an intense rivalry with Kenny Omega. Kenny became especially vitriolic with Naito compared to anyone else not involved in Bullet Club's Civil War arcs, sparing no expense at calling him out at every juncture, while Naito for his part would be quite prickly in response compared to his usual "tranquilo" attitude. However, unlike the Arch-Enemy relationship Naito shares with Tanahashi and Okada, this one seems to have more shades of Friendly Enemy and Worthy Opponent to it as both wrestlers actually seem to genuinely enjoy fighting each other. While English commentators Kevin Kelly and Don Callis claim that Kenny and Tetsuya would never go to a time limit draw because they'll both destroy each other before the clock hits zero, said commentators also note that Kenny and Tetsuya are both each other's favorite opponent. Even their repeated jabs at each other carry an implication of a motivational insult to try and light a fire under one another.
  • The Slacker: In 2015 his gimmick became being lazy and doing as little as possible to win. Hiroshi Tanahashi admitted he was totally thrown off by this "stalling strategy". Naito's slacker gimmick is actually a brilliant example of NJPW making lemonade out of a serious lemon: Naito was pushed to the top of the card as an for a feud with Kazuchika Okada. The problem was that the fans weren't buying what he was selling, and in a rare moment of fan response changing the trajectory of a company, there was a vote over which match should main event Wrestle Kingdom: the heavyweight title match between Okada and Naito…or the Intercontinental Championship between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura. The fans voted for the latter. Thus, Naito's entire slacking gimmick is rooted in this supposed "betrayal": the fans didn't give a damn about him, so why should he care about anything? And ironically, by not giving a crap about anything anymore, the fans took to him completely. After the response he got during and after winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt at Invasion Attack 2016...The fans aren't going to be voting him out of Main Events any time soon.
  • Smug Snake: His first run as IWGP Heavyweight Champion may have been brief but it's still tranquilo mode. He's convinced the belt will simply come back to him on its own. He has a similar attitude towards the Intercontinental belt - it came to him because of who he is, not because he was actively chasing it.
  • Spiteful Spit: Once turned back Okada by spitting in his eye.
  • Start of Darkness: While he would remain face for a couple of years afterwards it's hard to argue against the fact that his Wrestle Kingdom 8 match against Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship being deposed from its main event spot, and his eventual defeat in said match, isn't the core of what started his turn. It's most definitely the root of his bitterness, isolating the three things that he hates most. One, the fans for betraying him. Two, NJPW for giving into the fans' demands and robbing him of his main event. Lastly at three, Kazuchika Okada.
  • Take That!: His usual taunt of opening one of his eyes is this towards some disrespectful fans in Mexico who told him to open his eyes; of course, the joke being that Naito is Japanese.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The deal with Los Ingobernables was their absolute refusal to be classified or grouped with rudos, insisting that they were simply a different kind of tecnico. Naito is the exception, initially seeming from overall apathy but then he transformed the cheery Takaaki Watanabe into EVIL, suggesting he just likes being the bad guy.
  • Tournament Arc: Besides that of Takeda Dojo that got him into New Japan, Okumura's plan was for No Limit to win CMLL's 2009 Gran Alterniva Tournament but they ended up sticking to the elder-younger format, seeing Yujiro and Okumura win it, leaving Naito out. Tetsuya would later find success at the 2013 G1 Climax, the 2016 New Japan Cup, and the 2017 G1 Climax in which he felled Kenny Omega.
  • Translator Buddy: Black Warrior in his first CMLL run due to Naito not speaking Spanish.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Got Toscano shaved after pinning him in the traditional multi man "cage of death" to protect his own hair. During the match No Limit and Black Warrior had a falling out, leading to a one on one hair match that Yujiro won. It would come back to No Limit at the end of the year when El Texano, Jr. and El Terrible sent them out of CMLL bald at Sin Salida, though No Limit got one last parting shot by defeating Máscara Dorada, El Sagrado and El Valiente with Okumura.
  • The Unfought: He never got his one on one match with Héctor Garza on account of Garza ditching CMLL for Perros Del Mal Producciones and his untimely death afterwards. The closest was a parejas pitting No Limit against Garza and Brazo De Plata.
  • Ur-Example
    • No Limit were the first team to win both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and Heavyweight Tag Team titles, though their attempt to hold both at the same time failed and they had to do some bulking up, literally and figuratively, to win the heavyweight belts.
    • He is believed to be the first man to use the Gloria power slam, which he came up with in 2011
    • became the first man to hold the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles at the same time, defeating Okada at Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 5th, 2020
  • We Used to Be Friends
    • Black Warrior, though given he was a Mexican speaking on the behalf of an anti Mexican group it's a wonder how that friendship got started in the first place.
    • Okada and No Limit used to have a friendly rivalry and would team with each other often, which isn't so surprising considering CHAOS and all. But then Naito started his own stable, which probably wouldn't have happened except…
    • Yujiro Takahashi wasn't pleased with Naito's decision to pursue Jeff Hardy's TNA World Heavyweight Title at Wrestle Kingdom before making an effort to regain the IWGP Tag Titles and after their loss at Best of the Super Juniors XVIII he turned on Naito, ousting him from CHAOS.
    • EVIL was the first person Naito recruited into Los Ingobernables de Japon and has effectively been by Naito's side for the better part of four years. But once he won the New Japan Cup, earning him a shot at Naito's Double Titles, he immediately turned on Naito and joined Bullet Club and with some help, took the titles from Naito one day later leaving LIJ a solemn mess. Naito would get his revenge a month later however.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Considered taking Truth Martini and Jay Lethal into Los Ingobernables de Japón on account of the former's record as a manager, the latter being Ring of Honor's World Champion, and his past failure to take the ROH television title from Lethal. Following Martini's hospitalization and Lethal's loss of the belt, though, Naito emphatically ended their association.