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Kazuchika Okada’s New Japan pro-wrestling career is about to come to a close. The Japanese fighter confirmed his departure from the company a few weeks ago at the end of his contract. However, he still has two more dates agreed upon before severing the link completely. NJPW has confirmed the cards for The New Beginning in Sapporo, where fans tune into the final two bouts of the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

On February 23, Okada will join Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, and YOH to face Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare, Francesco Akira, and Callum Newman. On February 24, he will team up with Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ishii, Goto, and Yoshi-Hashi to face Matt Riddle, Cobb, Great-O-Khan, HENARE, and Akira. After these two dates, Okada will completely sever his professional relationship with NJPW. But where will he be headed? With AEW and WWE competing for his signature, here is all there is to know about the future of Okada.

Kazuchika Okada has engaged in talks with the WWE

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Kazuchika Okada has been on the wrestling transfer market for quite a while now. The Japanese professional wrestler finished his stint in New Japan Pro-Wrestling as he began his cycle as a free agent. As mentioned earlier, WWE and All Elite Wrestling emerged as the biggest candidates to retain the services of The Rainmaker. Even though only some days have passed since his departure, reports linking Okada to both U.S. companies have taken shape. On January 30, rumors ran rampant about the requirement to have PWTees remove Okada’s merchandise from their stores within 24 hours.

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Even though some fans believe this meant a move from “The Rainmaker” to WWE or AEW, this was revealed to be related to his contract with NJPW. Fightful Select provided an update on Okada’s talks with WWE. Reports suggested that despite being under contract with NJPW, Okada was talking to other companies.

New Japan sources say that things have remained amicable between the company and Kazuchika Okada despite the unceremonious breakup. WWE sources also confirmed that there had been talks between Okada’s team and WWE, while there were also talks between WWE talents and the former seven-time IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. The report noted that Okada had been in contact with WWE stars on the roster to evaluate their offers and the company’s approach and to help weigh his decision. With some even guiding him through interviews. However, it seems like, despite all this, Okada will be headed the other way.

AEW is Okada’s most likely destination

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As per reports, Kazuchika Okada has already decided on the next step in his career. The Japanese wrestler would finally be closing his arrival at All Elite Wrestling. According to Fightful Select, the deal has been closed over the past few weeks. However, the Japanese fighter has not yet signed the contract with Tony Khan’s company, as several details are still being finalized.

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Fightful comments that AEW has been very confident of getting the deal with Okada over the past few weeks. So far, it is unknown if there are firm plans for the ‘Rainmaker’ or even the date of his debut as a star contracted by AEW, although it is expected to be after he finishes his commitments with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

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Although there are no plans yet for Okada, ideas have already been floating since mid-January. And it is most likely that the Japanese will be making his big debut at AEW Big Business. What do you think? Should the ‘Rainmaker’ join the AEW roster? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

ALSO READ: Kazuchika Okada Rumors: Top AEW Star Expresses Desires of Roping In the NJPW Star Under Tony Khan – EssentiallySports

Written by

Abhishek Kumar Das

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Abhishek Kumar Das is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a researcher, journalist, and combat sports editor, Abhishek is uniquely poised to deliver wrestling news that is both straightforward and backed by facts. A die-hard Jeff Hardy fan, and a defender of heels to hell and beyond, he enjoys delving into the different storylines that both WWE and other promotions have to offer.
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Edited by

Amal Joyce