Kazuchika Okada, a prominent figure in New Japan Pro Wrestling, is set to depart from the organization in early 2024. His contract with NJPW is set to expire later this month, paving the way for a potential move to either WWE or AEW.
Okada’s departure has been the subject of speculation in WWE circles for some time. Despite achieving great success in NJPW, he has yet to experience the world of WWE, making it an attractive proposition for him. It’s been widely discussed that Okada felt he was being significantly underpaid in NJPW considering the potential earnings he could command in the American wrestling scene, whether that be with WWE or AEW.
Both WWE and AEW have made compelling pitches to secure Okada’s services, with reports suggesting that AEW made a strong initial offer. However, as of now, no official contract has been signed.
Dave Meltzer, speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, shared insights into the ongoing negotiations. According to Meltzer, Okada is keeping his options open and has not made a final decision. It’s a situation that remains fluid, with both WWE and AEW believing they have a chance to sign the talented wrestler.
Meltzer stated, “He’s going to go with whoever presents the most appealing offer. I’ve spoken to individuals who are close to him, and as of the past few days, he has not reached a decision. It’s not a secret; he simply hasn’t made up his mind yet. Some in AEW are optimistic, while others are more cautious. In WWE, there’s hope and belief that they can secure his services. One individual mentioned that Okada may prioritize legacy, and WWE is offering the possibility of achieving that, even if it means a potentially lower salary. Ultimately, Okada is poised to earn well, no matter which path he chooses.”
In the coming weeks, wrestling fans worldwide will eagerly await Kazuchika Okada’s decision as he stands at the crossroads of his wrestling career, poised to make a significant impact on either WWE or AEW.
Where do you want to see Okada land? WWE or AEW? Sound off below.