It was revealed during last night’s IMPACT No Surrender event that Juice Robinson and David Finlay would be heading to the promotion this week. Alongside KENTA, that makes three mainstay NJPW stars that have appeared on both AEW/IMPACT programming over the past few weeks.
It’s now common knowledge that All Elite and IMPACT have a working relationship; this began on-screen at the December 2nd ‘Winter Is Coming’ episode of AEW Dynamite. Kenny Omega and Don Callis aligned at the end of that show and Omega began appearing on IMPACT television.
It does appear however that there’s even more to come. Dave Meltzer confirmed on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that NJPW star Kazuchika Okada will be part of the ongoing partnerships between NJPW, AEW and IMPACT. Meltzer also noted that he does not know where Okada will be appearing first; but he stated that he is coming to either AEW or IMPACT.
Kazuchika Okada in TNA
This is another interesting wrinkle in the ‘Forbidden Door’ storyline that seems to be engulfing the major promotions outside of WWE. When Okada was originally in the TNA promotion back in 2010-2011. Whilst there Okada was used as a lower card performer, with a ‘Kato’ gimmick from The Green Hornet.
The way that Kazuchika Okada was used by TNA was so appalling that NJPW cut all ties with the promotion shortly after, vowing never to work with Total Nonstop Action again. Reportedly in 2017, representatives of the now IMPACT Wrestling spoke to New Japan officials. Members of the IMPACT team actually apologised for the way Okada was used earlier in the decade. It’s likely that the people who apologised weren’t even involved in his booking at that time.
If Kazuchika Okada were to make an appearance at an AEW or IMPACT show? It could be a huge power move for all involved. Okada is classed as one of the greatest IWGP Heavyweight Champions in history; there’s plenty of dream match scenarios that could occur if the ‘Rainmaker’ comes to the United States.