The WWE has not been doing as great lately and it is starting to influence their ability to hire big indie stars. A major indie wrestler – going by the name of Tetsuya Naito – has refused an offer from the WWE and prefers to remain in New Japan.
Recruitment Attempt in June
Naito claims the WWE contacted him back in June, shortly after he suffered a loss against WWE star Chris Jericho. While he did not win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, he was noticed by the WWE brass.
Naito Not Interested
While I have no doubt Naito got an attractive offer from the WWE, he stated he was not interested in the offer whatsoever. The following statement is an exerpt of Naito’s statement from WhatCulture.
“There is nothing to think about, at least for me. This New Japan ring is already the world’s number one stage. The fans know this. That’s why I think we should focus on our home crowd before looking international.”
The statements made by Naito may look innocent enough, but there is actually some reference to the new management of New Japan wrestling. New management has caused a few problems since being in power, mainly with Japanese wrestlers. The new management seems to prefer westerners holding the championship belts, something that has not gone down well with Japanese performers.
A Bright Future?
Turning down the WWE’s offer did not have an influence on Naito’s popularity. In fact, he has built an interesting rivalry with Chris Jericho over the past couple of months.
Tetsuya Naito is due to wrestle Chris Jericho again at Wrestling Kingdom 13; this time for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. So, if you are looking forward to a decent match, it is surely one for your shortlist.
WWE and New Japan Want to Recruit Each Others Roster
The funny thing about the whole situation is that the WWE has been looking at an increasingly large number of wrestlers in New Japan, recruiting them for their own brand. On the other hand, the new management of New Japan is interested in western wrestlers to expand its brand. So, the brands are poaching one another’s talent. If this trend continues in the future, who knows what might happen in terms of the the biggest wrestling promotions?
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