NJPW star Kazuchika Okada has revealed that he wants to face AEW’s CM Punk and Bryan Danielson before they retire from the ring.
During 2021, wrestling’s so-called ‘Forbidden Door’ has been knocked off its hinges with stars moving between promotions. Kenny Omega and Christian Cage have both captured the IMPACT World Championship, The Good Brothers – Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson – made regular appearances in AEW, and NJPW legends like Minoru Suzuki, Satoshi Kojima and Yugi Nagata made their way across the pond to battle AEW’s finest.
Speaking on the eve of his first Wrestle Kingdom main event in two years, NJPW’s Kazuchika Okada has spoken about his desire to go through the door himself to take on CM Punk and Bryan Danielson. During an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Okada said that facing the two AEW’s biggest stars make for incredible matches, and he wants to do it sooner rather than later.
“Danielson and Punk would make for some incredible matches. A lot of those dream match scenarios are about getting excited for the possibilities, and once the match is done, it’s done. So it is important to keep that excitement and anticipation, I think. Still, if we wait too long, they’ll both retire eventually, so I want to face them both while they’re still active.”
Recently, AEW’s Best Friends faction joined CHAOS, sparking speculation that stars of AEW could be heading to NJPW in the near future. This is something Okada thinks would be a lot of fun.
“The Best Friends were part of CHAOS when they were in New Japan, and with the door to AEW being opened a bit, it added more possibilities. [Tomohiro] Ishii was able to come into AEW from CHAOS, and if Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends were able to show up in New Japan, there is no doubt that would be a lot of fun. The sooner the whole pandemic settles down, the better as far as that’s concerned.”
By winning the G1 tournament in October, Kazuchika Okada claimed his spot in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 16 and will face Shingo Takagi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on night one of the event.
The winner will go on to face Will Ospreay – who claims to be the “Real World Heavyweight Champion” since he relinquished the title due to injury earlier in 2021 – on the second night of the Tokyo Dome spectacular to determine who will lead the company into their 50th Anniversary year.