Kazuchika Okada free agency update: WWE enters the fight to compete with AEW over former NJPW star’s signature

For the last five decades, WWE has been mostly closed for business when it comes to working with other promotions. But the trend has changed after the UFC and WWE merger last year.

The recent appearance of the TNA Women’s Champion, Jordynne Grace in the Women’s Royal Rumble match confirms that WWE is showing interest in collaborating with other promotions. Recently, the promotion has shown interest in signing the former IWGP World Champion and one of the biggest free agent in Wrestlting, Kazuchika Okada

WWE reportedly reach out to Kazuchika Okada

As of February 1, 2024, Kazuchika Okada, widely regarded as one of the best professional wrestlers in the world, is officially a free agent. The former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion announced his departure from New Japan Pro-Wrestling earlier this month, after a successful 14-year run with the promotion.

Okada’s decision to leave NJPW has sparked a bidding war among the top wrestling companies in the world, especially WWE and AEW. Multiple sources report that WWE has officially acknowledged engaging in discussions with Okada’s representatives in recent times.

As per the report, Okada has aligned himself along with the super agent, Barry Bloom, who has represented stars such as Chris Jericho, Will Ospreay, and The Young Bucks. The reports also confirm that Okada personally reached out to his former buddy, Shinsuke Nakamura, for gaining intel that would help him eventually make his decision.

Okada has been the face of the NJPW for the last ten years. He is a seven-time IWGP world champion and has headlined NJPW’s biggest annual event, Wrestle Kingdom, eight times. He is the only wrestler to win both the WGP Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at the same time. With all these achievements, there is no doubt that WWE is showing interest in signing the Rainmaker, who has proven himself as a leader in the industry.

Potential landing spot for the former NJPW champion

Kazuchika Okada announced his departure from NJPW last week, after his last match, where he faced Kosei Fujita, Mikey Nicholls, and Shane Haste in a six man tag team match for the Openweight Championship. He said goodbye to NJPW Fans and officiallty declared him as a free agent.

After his announcement, he was rumored to debut in professional wrestling promotions such as AEW, IMPACT Wrestling, and NWA. But the former NJPW champion is reportedly making his decision between two of the biggest wrestling companies in the world, WWE and AEW.

The likelihood of him joining either promotion is currently seen as equal. Rumors suggest that Okada is leaning towards choosing AEW over WWE, due to AEW offering a higher salary.

Kazuchika Okada
via NJPW

There is still no confirmation on where the hottest free agent in wrestling history will land, but his choice will have a significant impact on the landscape of the promotions.


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