In an interview with NJPW1972.com, Tetsuya Naito revealed that for about six months he went through a crisis of confidence and thought he couldn’t wrestle anymore.
“No, not really. I don’t want to go into specifics, but for a while, I thought I couldn’t wrestle anymore,” Naito revealed. “Truth is for about six months, maybe since May, I had this kind of crisis of confidence. From about May, I’d felt something was up, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought I could cover it up, but I think the result was that it did come through. I was constantly wrestling in that state of unease. I hate going to the hospital, but I really wasn’t myself for a time.”
Naito went on to explain that with the time off he had, he managed to recover well enough for Wrestle Kingdom 14. At Wrestle Kingdom 14, Naito will be challenging Jay White for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. If he wins, the next night on January 5th, he will wrestle either Kota Ibushi or Kazuchika Okada.
“It’s like any injury, and I’ve had bad knees for a while, things don’t get back to 100%, but when it comes to this issue I’ve had, I’ve managed to recover well enough during the time off,” he said. “Bear in mind, 100% or not, I came pretty damn close to zero.”
? NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 3, 2020