NJPW announces departure of Kazuchika Okada

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist

AEW Dynamite analysis


NJPW announced that Kazuchika Okada will leave the promotion when his contract expires on Jan. 31 on their website today.

NJPW stated that Okada will make his final NJPW appearances on Feb. 11 in Osaka and Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 in Sapporo.

The company also issued the following statement from Kazuchika Okada:

I have nothing but gratitude for having been a part of New Japan Pro-Wrestling since 2007, and for NJPW bringing me from a 19 year old kid off the plane in Mexico to the Rainmaker I am today. Thank you to the best of companies in NJPW, to the best of opponents that I’ve been able to face here, and to the best of fans that have cheered and booed over the years. I promise to make it rain in every match I have left, so keep watching.

Okada, age 36, has been New Japan’s top star for many years and is widely regarded as being amongst the very best wrestlers of his generation with possibly an unmatched record of delivering epic performances in main event of major events.

His next destination is not known. PWTorch has been told that he has not signed with WWE at least as of today, but unless he has already quietly signed with AEW, it’s a distinct possibility he could land in either major U.S. company.

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