On Wednesday December 13, Tokyo Sports newspaper held their annual round table to determine the very best in the year’s pro wrestling. After extensive deliberation, the prestigious MVP nod was given to Tetsuya Naito. Naito was 2016 MVP as well, making him only the fifth man in history, after Antonio Inoki, Jumbo Tsuruta, Genichiro Tenryu and Kazuchika Okada, to win the award twice in succession.
Additionally, the January 4 2017 Tokyo Dome main event of Kazuchika Okada versus Kenny Omega took the match of the year honours, while Katsuyori Shibata won the special Fighting Spirit award.
Tokyo Sports issued the following statement giving their reasons for choosing Naito as MVP:
‘Tokyo Sports today held its annual awards round table, and determined Tetsuya Naito to be 2017’s pro wrestling MVP. This is his second win, and second in succession.
This year, the three main candidates that stood out in the MVP conversation were Kazuchika Okada for defending the IWGP title throughout the year, Naito for holding the Intercontinental Championship during the first half of the year and winning the G1, and Kenny Omega for his string of great performances.’