In a captivating turn of events, the wrestling world buzzes with rumors that WWE is keenly interested in acquiring Kazuchika Okada, a superstar from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). This development marks a potential high-stakes scenario where WWE and AEW might vie again for a renowned international talent.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, cited by F4WOnline.com, reports a "renewed" enthusiasm within WWE circles to sign the ex-IWGP Champion. Okada's enduring loyalty to NJPW has been noteworthy, yet the current narrative hinges on his age, 36, and his rapport with WWE's Shinsuke Nakamura.
A transition to WWE could offer a less strenuous schedule for Okada, an aspect potentially influenced by Nakamura's successful tenure in WWE, known for being less physically demanding than NJPW's style.
WWE's Strategic Acquisitions
WWE's history of making landmark signings from NJPW adds credibility to these speculations.
The company's 2016 acquisition of NJPW's then-leading lights—Nakamura, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows—was a significant industry shakeup. More recently, WWE's expressed interest in Will Ospreay, another NJPW and AEW standout, further underscores its strategy to attract top international talent.
While Ospreay's move to AEW seems imminent, possibly as early as the upcoming Full Gear pay-per-view, the discourse around Okada's future remains speculative. Okada, globally recognized as one of the most fantastic in-ring performers, has a decorated career highlighted by five Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year awards from 2013 to 2022.
His 2019 NJPW Dominion match against AEW's Kenny Omega notably earned an unprecedented seven-star rating. Okada's potential move could signify a significant shift in the wrestling landscape, bringing a new level of expertise and charisma to WWE's roster.
His addition would bolster WWE's international appeal and add a fresh dynamic to its storytelling and match quality. As the wrestling community watches closely, the decision of this NJPW icon could mark a new chapter in professional wrestling's global narrative.