Kushida’s WWE contract expires, set to return to NJPW

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Kushida reportedly leaving WWE and heading to NJPW

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Kushida and WWE have parted ways.

Fightful Select is reporting that Kushida’s contract with the company had expired and was not renewed. The report does not indicate whether or not he was offered another deal to stay with the WWE.

Kushida signed with WWE in 2019 and made his NXT debut against Kassius Ohno in May of that year. Kushida won the NXT Cruiserweight Championship in 2021. It was his only championship he held while in WWE. He lost the belt to Roderick Strong in September of 2021 on an early episode of NXT 2.0. After losing the Cruiserweight Championship, Kushida aligned with Ikemen Jiro to form the team, Jacket Time.

Dave Meltzer is reporting that Kushida will be heading back to New Japan Pro Wrestling to continue his career. He is a multiple time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. He is also a two-time Best of the Super Juniors winner and a former ROH World Television Champion.

Kushida’s last WWE match was on the new Level Up program in March. The Meltzer report indicates that the company was aware that he would be leaving once the contract expired.


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