After 8 years with the promotion, KUSHIDA is leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling. In his final match for NJPW, he’ll face IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi, on January 29th.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) January 8, 2019
“Wow. January 29, will be KUSHIDA’s Final NJPW Match: one on one with Tanahashi!”
KUSHIDA Leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling
Chris Charlton provided some translations of KUSHIDA’s comments from the recent press conference in Tokyo where he announced his departure.
“I will leave NJPW on January 31,” Kushida said. “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.”
Kushida then said, “I am contracted with this company until the end of January so I won’t be talking much about beyond then. But it has been my dream for a long time to travel the world with professional wrestling. And that’s what I will be doing.
KUSHIDA To WWE Speculation
In December, a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted WWE’s interest in the junior heavyweight.
“Kushida is a name has been talked about for weeks and we’ve been hearing more and more about it,” Dave Meltzer wrote. “He’s under contract to New Japan until the end of January so we shouldn’t be hearing his name, but WWE has been more forward about trying to get people and not caring about contracts.”
Kushida lost the IWGP Junior heavyweight championship to Taiji Ishimori this weekend at Wrestle Kingdom. He has held the title 8x.