Tetsuya Naito, the illustrious 2023 G1 Climax champion, is already stirring up excitement in the world of professional wrestling with his eagerly anticipated clash against his former stablemate, the IWGP World Champion SANADA. This high-stakes match is set to light up the ring at the prestigious Wrestle Kingdom 18 event on January 4, 2024. However, before Naito steps back into the spotlight, he’s taken a step to ensure he’s at his best – recovering from recent eye surgery.
Fans have been following Naito’s condition since 2019 when he was first diagnosed with superior oblique palsy, a condition that occasionally caused misalignment of his right eyeball. In true warrior fashion, he opted for surgery to correct the issue ahead of one of the biggest matches of his career. Naito was hospitalized but in a swift turnaround characteristic of his resilience, he was discharged just one day following the procedure.
In a candid interview with Tokyo Sports, Naito opened up about his recovery and the surgery’s immediate impact, stating, “I’ve removed the eye patch now, and it looks normal. I had gotten used to the situation where my right eyeball was slightly misaligned. With time, I will get used to this situation, so I think it will get better.”
However, responding to the concern of fans and industry insiders alike, Naito has confirmed that he won’t be taking any in-ring bumps for the following two weeks. His passion for the sport is palpable as he expressed his eagerness to return to the ring, mentioning, “I don’t want to take too much time off, and it’s sad and frustrating not to have my name on the card. I want to get back to wrestling as soon as possible.”
His determination to be an active and fighting participant in the pro wrestling world remains unwavering. As Wrestle Kingdom 18 inches closer, the anticipation for his match with SANADA is reaching fever pitch, with expectations that Naito will return stronger and more focused than ever.
In other news, wrestling fans continue to feel the buzz of excitement as Survivor Series 2023 approaches. The event promises to add another memorable chapter in wrestling history, and fans can join the WrestleTalk crew at a special Watch Party held at the Long Arm Sports Bar & Pub in London. To be part of that excitement and watch alongside Sullivan, Luke, Dan Layton, Pete, and more, grab your tickets now. With the current stir around major wrestling events, the promise of Tetsuya Naito’s return adds yet another reason for fans to mark their calendars and look forward to the thrilling confrontations that define the sport.