KUSHIDA has let New Japan Pro Wrestling officials know that he is leaving the company at the end of this month. This follows the news on Kenny Omega announcing his departure from the company.
KUSHIDA: As Sugabayashi said, I will leave NJPW on January 31. This was an extremely tough condition made with Meij, Sugabayashi and Kidani. It was a very big decision in my life and I’m thankful they understood. I will head overseas and to see the world of pro wrestling.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) January 7, 2019
Dave Meltzer reported last month in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE is interested in signing the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
WWE has plans to expand the NXT brand in other countries so it makes sense for them to offer him a deal. The plan is for him to start out in NXT. There’s no word on when he will report to the Performace Center but it could be as soon as next month after his NJPW deal expires.
It is interesting that WWE is signing him now at 35 years old with some wear and tear on his body. He’s been wrestling since 2013 and has worked all over the world.
Among other places, he has wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling, Osaka Pro Wrestling, Smash Wrestling, and promotions in North America including CMLL in Mexico.
He is a former Ring Of Honor Television Champion, a 6-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, and former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion among other titles won.
He dropped the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to Taiji Ishimori at Wrestle Kingdom 13.