Kazuchika Okada Says Goodbye to NJPW Following ‘New Beginning in Osaka’ Event

KOBE, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Kazuchika Okada enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling 'G1 Climax 30' at the World Hall on September 27, 2020 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Kazuchika Okada says goodbye to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Following this morning’s ‘New Beginning in Osaka’ event, seven-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada bid an extremely emotional goodbye to NJPW fans.

On January 18, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Okada would be departing the company at the end of the month.

Earlier today, Okada issued a statement, confirming his deal with NJPW has indeed expired, today as it is already Thursday, February 1 in Tokyo, Japan.

Thank you for your support for 17 years of New Japan Pro-Wrestling! Thank you very much! I laughed, got angry, cried, and it was great! I look forward to the remaining three matches as a freelancer!”

– Kazuchika Okada on Becoming a Free Agent

In an update provided by Fightful Select, both WWE and All Elite Wrestling have been in direct contact with Okada about procuring his services, however, AEW believes they’re in a good position to make Okada ‘All Elite.’

“WWE sources confirmed that there have been talks between Okada’s side and WWE. There have been WWE talent that confirmed that over the last few weeks, Okada has been in contact with others on the roster to gauge his offers, WWE’s approach, and to help weigh a decision. We have not heard of any creative plans in place for Okada, or any specific pitches that may or may not have been thrown his way. 

AEW has been fairly confident over the last month that they would land Kazuchika Okada, to the point to where there were tentative plans in place to debut Okada, which would be well over a month from now. We’re told that AEW made what they consider a ‘substantial offer.’”

– Fightful Select on Kazuchika Okada’s Status

‘The Rainmaker’ took another step in the process of making his move to the United States as Okada filed trademarks for his name to be used for merchandising and entertainment purposes.

While Okada’s worked with AEW in the past, rumors have ramped up in regards to the seven-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion potentially heading to WWE, however, cold water has been tossed onto those rumors as of late.

BodySlam will provide all updates on Kazuchika Okada’s free agency status as they become available.