Friday, September 25, 2015

Okada Says You'll Never See Him in a WWE Ring

Don't expect rain to be made in a WWE ring anytime soon
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Kazuchika Okada is arguably the most recognizable non-North American wrestler in the world, and depending on how one views the Young Bucks and AJ Styles, the biggest act not yet in WWE. While people have fantasized over the Rainmaker heading to WWE, fueled by friendly visits with current WWE superstars, the current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion has no plans on ever going to the global sports entertainment monolith, at least right now.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Okada was asked if he would consider leaving Japan to work full-time for Ring of Honor or WWE, and he blatantly shot down any notion he'd want to work for Vince McMahon's outfit. He stated his goal was not only to make New Japan Pro Wrestling the best company it could be, but that he wants to expand it into the United States. He claimed that he was the one who could bring about a weekly show in the US, and that he even wants to do a G1 Climax in front of an American audience. All of that sounds ambitious, a bit too ambitious for a single wrestler within a corporate structure. However, it's refreshing to hear someone look to growing a competitor to WWE rather than be drawn to the company like a moth to the lantern.

Okada is currently on two separate collision courses, one definite and one suspected. The definite one has him going up against Genichiro Tenryu in the latter's retirement match (a match mentioned in the interview via a link-back to this very site, thanks!), and the suspected one will see him take on longtime rival Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event of WrestleKingdom 10. Of course, Okada has to keep the IWGP World Championship until then, and Tanahashi has to select Okada as his opponent instead of swerving everyone and choosing IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto as his opponent. Either way, Okada's got a busy slate ahead of him.