KUSHIDA took part in his final NJPW match at yesterday’s Korakuen Hall show. The icon of the Juniors Division wished for his final match to be against Hiroshi Tanahashi and this was granted by New Japan officials.
Tanahashi took the win in around 24 minutes with the Texas Cloverleaf. This was a highly emotional bout, with KUSHIDA bowing out after 8 years with the company.
KUSHIDA discussed the bout earlier this week, playing up the emotional aspect of facing his idol in Tanahashi. The former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion stated “I’ve only got one match left. It will be very emotional. I’ve taken a lot of damage over these past 8 years. But the memories I’ve made in this time, I’m sure because of them…that I have become stronger. Going forward, I’ll always fight with that knowledge close to my heart.”
KUSHIDA finished up by saying “8 years ago, here at Korakuen Hall, Tanahashi said he’d make me a complete pro wrestler. I’m forever grateful to him, I’ll never forget that.”
The question now that KUSHIDA’s contract is up is where will he head? The likely destination is WWE/NXT however AEW, IMPACT and Ring of Honor are certainly not off the table as of writing.