Speculation has been rife about the future of NJPW star Kazuchika Okada, with rumors suggesting that he might make a move to AEW or WWE.
As one of Japan’s top wrestlers, Okada’s contract with NJPW was set to expire at the end of January, leaving fans and pundits curious about his next career move.
Adding fuel to the speculation fire, Okada has made appearances in AEW on several occasions, and there have been reports of WWE’s “renewed interest” in securing the services of this top-tier talent.
However, Dave Meltzer recently pointed out a significant clue regarding Okada’s future in the latest install of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer observed that Okada is advertised for several wrestling shows scheduled after February 1, which is after his current contract with NJPW is set to expire.
This observation has led many to believe that Okada has either already signed a new deal with NJPW or is actively planning to do so. While it’s not a definitive confirmation of his stay, the fact that Okada is featured in multiple upcoming events on NJPW’s schedule is a strong indicator that he will continue his journey with the promotion.
Meltzer also noted that while this is a promising sign, there hasn’t been an official announcement regarding Okada’s new contract. Additionally, another NJPW star, Will Ospreay, has a contract that also expired on January 31, and his status remains uncertain.
“Perhaps the biggest news that nobody picked up on from the cards released is that Kazuchika Okada is on every card where a full card is announced after 2/1. His contract ended on 1/31.”
“That doesn’t mean 100 percent he’s staying as they haven’t announced a new contract and Will Ospreay is working 2/11 and we know his contract is up 1/31.”
“But it would be a pretty strong indicator with him working a full schedule and not just one big show match, or nothing but a match to drop the trios titles or a match that good be a good-bye match.”
Okada’s recent win at Wrestle Kingdom 18, where he defeated AEW’s Bryan Danielson in a singles match, added to the intrigue surrounding his future. The two wrestling giants now share one victory each, with Danielson previously forcing Okada to submit at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door 2023.
As wrestling fans eagerly await further developments, the wrestling landscape remains unpredictable, with Okada’s next destination shrouded in uncertainty.
If Okada decides to stay with NJPW, how do you think this will impact the promotion and the wrestling landscape as a whole? Conversely, if he were to make a move to AEW or WWE, how would it change the dynamics of those promotions and their respective rosters? What matchups or storylines would you most like to see Okada involved in, regardless of where he ends up? Let us know in the comments.