One of the world’s best wrestlers in the world is yet again on WWE’s radar according to new reports.
Former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada is widely considered to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, having held New Japan Pro Wrestling’s top title a number of times and main evented countless Wrestle Kingdoms. As a result, it’s no surprise to hear that WWE have long held an interest in signing ‘The Rainmaker’, although it now appears as though this interest has yet again been reignited.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is now reporting that talk within WWE has been picking up regarding their interest in Okada, with Shinsuke Nakamura’s recent push described by one source as being a way to show Okada that the regime isn’t going to treat Japanese talent in a stereotypical manner.
“We’ve heard some talk of late regarding Kazuchika Okada. Obviously they’ve had interest in him for years. But he’s always been loyal to New Japan. The pitch is that he’s now 36 and he’s close with Nakamura and Nakamura has worked years in WWE and it’s far easier on his body. The idea is that WWE is the one thing Okada has never done and he’s done everything he can do in New Japan. One person who buzzed us about the renewed interest in Okada said that one of the reasons Nakamura is getting a renewed push is to show Okada that this regime is not going to treat Japanese like the stereotypical children-like role (although Tozawa is still playing that role) because Vince does that with people who don’t speak fluent English, but this is a new regime. Okada is a name always brought up but there’s no indication there’s anything new to this other than there’s been more talk of late.”-WON
Okada had previously told Number that he believes he doesn’t have much time left in the ring and that he wants to further NJPW’s globalisation, and thus it’ll be interesting to see whether WWE’s latest attempts to sign the 36-year-old will bear any fruit.
Alongside Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii, Okada currently reigns as one-third of the NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team Champions, whilst a major singles match awaits him at Wrestle Kingdom 18 on Januar 4th as he’s set to square off against AEW’s Bryan Danielson in a rematch of their Forbidden Door clash this summer.
As always, we’ll aim to provide any further updates on WWE’s renewed interest in Kazuchika Okada as soon as we hear more.