Kazuchika Okada Was “Grossly Underpaid” In NJPW, Speculation About His Future

On Thursday night, it was confirmed that Kazuchika Okada will leave New Japan Pro Wrestling when his contract expires.

AEW and WWE have long been interested in the top star, and it appears that he will join one of the promotions. His departure will occur when his contract expires on January 31.

As PWMania.com previously reported, WWE believed they had a better chance of signing him than in the past, as the company had been trying to sign him for years.

Bryan Alvarez addressed Okada’s departure in the Bryan and Vinny Show podcast on F4WOnline.com.

“He’d been thinking about leaving once, and then there was a meeting with New Japan, and he wasn’t thinking about leaving anymore. And it wasn’t because he was offered a lot of money. I don’t know exactly what he was making but people today were like ‘this is the most underpaid, greatest wrestler of all time ever.’ So whatever he was making, if you compare it to what the top stars are making in America today, he’s grossly underpaid in New Japan. He’s done a lot of shows in AEW and don’t think he doesn’t know what they’re making there. They’re making a lot of money.”

Alvarez mentioned that Okada’s wife is a famous actress, but she only does voiceover work, which she can do anywhere and does not need to live in Japan.

“Now, Tony Khan did a tweet today, and he talked about how it’s going to be an amazing 2024, and it’s certainly believed that AEW is the front-runner for Okada, that he will likely end up in AEW, but I can tell you he’s going to be negotiating with many different people. So, I would not say it’s a lock that he’s going to AEW. I would say it’s very likely he’s going to AEW, but it’s not like WWE ain’t throwing a lot of money around, and it’s not like WWE ain’t got interest in Okada. Trust me they have interest to the point that you think [Shinsuke] Nakamura kept saying he was going to bring chaos to WWE, things like that are not a coincidence. It’s like when he did that GTS for a few weeks, that was right around the time they [WWE] were negotiating with CM Punk, then everything with Punk fell through, and he stopped doing the GTS. Then negotiations started up again, and CM Punk returned at Survivor Series. It is no coincidence that Nakamura has talked about chaos, and there is a chance that he [Okada] would end up in WWE, but it seems very likely that he’s going to AEW. That’s a big story, let me tell you.”

(h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription)