Stardust Press: Why Tetsuya Naito’s Finisher Never Actually Lands

Hamish Woodward

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Testuya Naito has won numerous championships over the years, usually with his trusty “Destino” finishing move.

However, the leader of the Los Ingernobles de Jopon has attempted to win some of his matches with his classic, high-flying finisher called The Stardust Press.

This was his primary finisher from 2008 until 2015, when he abandoned his “Stardust Genius” gimmick in favor of being leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon.

The move was an incredible high-flying finisher, performed from the top rope with spectacular grace and poise.

The Stardust Press is a corkscrew moonsault, similar to AJ StylesSpiral Tap move that he used in TNA.

The move is a flashy one, often used to wow the audience when Naito was trying to be the hero of the people.

However, after the controversial failure of his at Wrestle Kingdom 12, he spent time in Mexico and learned the art of Tranquillo.

Naito rejected the fans, as they had once rejected him. He began to disrespected them and the company, throw the title belts around as if they meant nothing to him.

Naito showed no respect to New Japan’s title belts when he was champion.

This included forgoing the Stardust Press. Once a signal of his attempt to wow the fans, he tossed the move aside as a punishment for them abandoning Naito.

Tetsuya Naito used the Destino instead, which found him much more success than the Stardust Press ever did.

Naito has used the move very rarely, pulling it out in the most dire of situations – or when he’s feeling overly cocky.

Has Naito Ever Hit The Stardust Press?

Despite it having a very low conversation rate in recent years, Natio has still hit the Stardust Press a few times.

The last time Tetsuya Naito hit the Stardust Press was during his Golden Series 2022 match against Kazuchika Okada.

This match was for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, and was the first time in years that he had attempted (and hit) the move.

Shockingly, it only managed to get a two-count, and Okada rallied back to win the match with his classic Rainmaker finisher.

Naito overcame Okada in the G1 Climax, partly in thanks to the Stardust Press.

Before that, he hit the Stardust Press on Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 14, using his former finisher to win the match and both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at the same time.

Naito has attempted the Stardust Press in select number of matches in recent years – usually some of the biggest matches of the year.

Some of the times he has hit the Stardust Press include:

  • vs. Omega in the G1 Climax 27 Final (miss, won match)
  • vs. Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 12 (miss, lost match)
  • vs. Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 14 (success, won match)
  • vs Okada at New Years Golden Series 2022 (success, lost match)
  • vs Will Ospreay at G1 Climax 33 semi final (miss, won match)
  • vs. Okada at G1 Climax 33 Final (miss, won match)

The most famous Stardust Press of Naito’s was the one at Wrestle Kingdom 14, but his arrogance has led to the move being brought out on quite a few occasions.

While this is not the finisher he uses all the time, the Stardust Press is one of Tetsuya Naito’s finishers that he uses to win his matches in NJPW.

It seems as thought the story will lead him to hit the Stardust Press on SANADA at Wrestle Kingdom 18 and winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at the Tokyo Dome.

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