Kazuchika Okada surprised the wrestling world when he revealed that he would not renew his contract with NJPW and leave the company after his contract expires. Okada, a seven-time world champion, joined the company in 2007 at the age of 20.
On January 23, wrestling fans were surprised when it was announced that Kazuchika Okada and WWE had a done deal. However, later it was revealed that there was still no confirmation about ‘The Rainmaker’ signing any contract with the Stamford-based company after leaving New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Has Kazuchika Okada signed with WWE?
Kazuchika Okada, arguably one of the top NJPW stars, is a multi-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. According to Monthly Puroresu, it was shared that the 36-year-old star is heading to WWE.
The post read, “With Kazuchika Okada likely heading to WWE, The Rainmaker was shown a lot of love by fans at Korakuen Hall. Tearing up, he promised to successfully defend the NEVER 6-Man titles one last time tomorrow, in his last appearance at Korakuen Hall for #njpw.”
Later, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful shared that sources close to Okada and NJPW said the wrestler and WWE have still yet to sign any contract. Any rumors about Kazuchika joining the company are not confirmed. Sapp also added that even a source from WWE confirmed the claim about Okada still in talks with the company and no contract is agreed upon yet.
Okada bids tearful farewell to NJPW
Kazuchika Okada had his last match for the Japan-based promotion on January 24 at Korakuen Hall in Bunkyo, Tokyo, in a 6-man tag team match, defending the NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team Championship. Okada teamed up with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii to face off against The Mighty Don’t Kneel (TMDK) Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls, and Kosei Fujita.
After Okada’s 317th match in the venue, he bid a heartfelt goodbye to the audience, expressing gratitude for their love and support over the past 17 years. He addressed the fans as he teared up, saying, “I don’t wanna cry. I have cried enough already. But thank you for all your support these past 17 years.”
The NJPW star after his match on Nagoya also said, “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.”
Although the Rainmaker is still yet to finalize his deal with WWE, fans from the No:1 wrestling company have shared their support and excitement about the athlete potentially joining the company. Some fans took to social media and posted their predictions of Okada’s future as a member of the TKO Group Holdings as well as his impact on the company in the future.
What do you think of Kazuchika Okada joining WWE? Do you think he will finalize his contract? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!