SANADA: "Not selling out a big show as IWGP World Champion was one thing I can’t forgive myself for"

Originally published at SANADA: "Not selling out a big show as IWGP World Champion was one thing I can’t forgive myself for"

Wrestle Kingdom 18 was the topic of conversation. 

For nearly nine months, SANADA reigned as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. His reign came to an end when he was bested by Tetsuya Naito in the main event of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18

NJPW1972.com conducted an interview with SANADA following his loss. Looking back at his title reign, the Just 5 Guys member felt he received less support when he became champion. He added that one thing he cannot forgive himself for is not selling out a big show as champion. 

One thing that stands out to me is that I got less support after winning the title. I think people get behind the chasers and not the chased. It’s true what they say — even though I have my friends with me, it’s still lonely at the top.

(Pro wrestling was) not what I thought (from the top of the mountain). I left a lot undone as champion, not selling out a big show as champion was one thing I can’t forgive myself for, so I want to have another chance at it. 

Speaking about the match against Naito, SANADA commented on the neck issue he navigated. It felt like a trapped nerve and added that he struggled to move his arm. 

People thought it was my shoulder, but it was my neck (that was hurt in Wrestle Kingdom 18 main event). Like a trapped nerve, I think; it meant I couldn’t lift my right arm. 

It was the work that (Tetsuya) Naito did on my neck, and after I took quite a few hits, I really couldn’t lift my arm. I couldn’t get enough strength there at all… (Instead of panicking), it was more like, OK, let’s figure out a way to make this work.

The rematch between Naito and SANADA is taking place at the conclusion of The New Beginning tour on February 24th. It’ll be their third one-on-one bout.

He wasn’t booked very well-especially during the house of torture shit at the end-He was losing more multi man matches than he was winning and I think he got even got pinned once or twice. he was losing more multi man matches than he was winning and I think he got even got pinned a few once or twice. I thought his match with Naito was very good, I don’t think he deserves another run.