Hiroshi Tanahashi Reacts To Kazuchika Okada’s NJPW Exit

Kazuchika Okada posing in the ring

Hiroshi Tanahashi has shared his views on Kazuchika Okada’s impending NJPW exit.

Okada is set to depart the Japanese promotion at the expiration of his contract on January 31st.

The 36 year-old is widely seen as one the the best wrestlers in the world and the availability of his services will undoubtedly interest both WWE and AEW.

In a recent discussion with Tokyo Sports, NJPW President Hiroshi Tanahashi, a long-time rival of Okada, offered his thoughs on the upcoming departure of the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion:

“I can only express my gratitude in the sense that I have contributed to New Japan for the past 12 years. Speaking personally, I would have liked to have seen more matches with the new generation (Shota Umino, Ren Narita, Yota Tsuji, and Yuya Uemura).

However, if I feel for Okada, I know that he has done enough in New Japan. I hope he will spread his wings to the world. If he is going overseas with what he has achieved at the top in New Japan, I hope that he will show (them) Kazuchika Okada. It’s the same feeling I had with Nakamura. I am very proud of him.

“I think things will get interesting from now on. We have an abundance of talent right now, and there are a lot of young fighters in the dojo. When the rain stops, there will be a rainbow. Who will light up the future of New Japan when the rain of money stops falling?”

Kazuchika Okada ‘Grossly Underpaid’ In NJPW

Okada’s next move could driven by finances, according to renowned wrestling journalist Bryan Alvarez. He recently claimed that Okada was ‘grossly underpaid’ in NJPW.

Many have suggested that AEW are the current front runner for Okada’s signature, with Tony Khan having the financial power to lure the hotly sought-after free agent.

H/T: Fightful for the above transcription.