Kazuchika Okada Casts Doubt On Future NJPW Return

Kazuchika Okada speaking after last NJPW match

Kazuchika Okada has given his thoughts on the possibility of returning to NJPW in the future.

On January 19th, Kazuchika Okada dropped the bombshell that he would be leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling after his contract expired at the end of that month. To finish up his time in the company, he took part in the New Beginning tour in February. His final singles bout saw him take on and defeat his old nemesis Hiroshi Tanahashi one more time, while for his last two NJPW matches, he opted to team up with his CHAOS stablemates in two successful encounters with United Empire.

Okada hit his final Rainmaker on the cerulean blue on February 24th, downing Will Ospreay’s protege Callum Newman with the devastating Clothesline to leave NJPW with his head held high.

Many fans have been wondering if this truly is the last time we’ll see Okada in a New Japan ring, with offers from both AEW and WWE said to be on the table for the star. The former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion has now addressed that question.

In an interview with Tokyo Sports, Okada said his sights were firmly set on the next stage of his career, and that he was treating his departure as if he would never return to the company. However, he didn’t completely close the door on the possibility.

“I’ve got my eyes on what’s coming next, and I’m going to be leaving as though I’m not coming back to NJPW again. I’m sorry about that, but I might not.”

What’s Next For Kazuchika Okada?

The most recent reports point to Kazuchika Okada signing with AEW. The move would see him join the same roster as some of his biggest rivals in Kenny Omega, Jay White, and Will Ospreay as well as open the doors for multiple dream matches with other top stars. The company’s relationship with NJPW could also mean fans would see him back in New Japan sooner than originally thought.

However, the signing has not been confirmed by either party, meaning there is still a possibility of him landing in WWE. In a recent interview, Bryan Danielson gave his thoughts on Kazuchika Okada signing with WWE, saying that if it happened, the promotion shouldn’t change anything about him.