Kazuchika Okada finally parted ways with New Japan Pro Wrestling on February 1st, bringing an end to his 17-year-long run with the promotion. He still had another match for NJPW against Hiroshi Tanahashi and they finally clashed today at NJPW New Beginning in Osaka. Okada won the match, bringing an end to his incredible journey.
As the match kicked off, the crowd resonated with a thunderous “Okada” chant inside the EDION Arena. Okada gained an early advantage, sending Tanahashi to the floor with a drop-kick. Utilizing some questionable tactics, including using the barricade, Okada drew boos from the crowd.
Inside the ring, Okada executed Tanahashi’s classic dragon screw, further fueling disapproval from the Osaka audience. Tanahashi countered with a senton and his own dragon screws, taking control. Okada responded with an air raid crash, an elbow drop, and his iconic Rainmaker pose.
Although Okada’s initial Rainmaker attempt was reversed into Tanahashi’s sling blade, Okada persevered. Tanahashi climbed to the ropes for High Fly Flow, but Okada thwarted it by extending his knees. Okada then gained wrist control with a dropkick and a piledriver. Despite Tanahashi’s attempts to escape, Okada successfully landed the Rainmaker, securing the victory over his rival of 12 years.
After the match, the two men shared an embrace. Okada took a moment to absorb the fans’ response before bowing to the lion mark, concluding his remarkable career on a high note.
We have also reported Kazuchika Okada’s most likely landing spot following his NJPW departure. Only time will tell whether Kazuchika Okada will actually end up in AEW, or sign with WWE WWE, as the world is truly his oyster right now.
What do you think of Kazuchika Okada’s final NJPW match? Do you feel it was the perfect sendoff for The Rainmaker? Let us know in the comments section below!