As noted before, Kazuchika Okada’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling is currently set to expire at the end of January of 2024 and WWE currently has renewed interest in potentially signing Okada to a deal. Besides Okada, WWE is also currently very interested in potentially signing Giulia once her current contract with Stardom expires at the end of March of 2024.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE likely will now be making a harder push to try to get Okada following them recently losing out on getting Will Ospreay, who signed with AEW instead. Meltzer reported that one potential major factor in any decision by Okada could involve the status of his wife Suzuko Mimori being a well known actress based in Japan.
Another potential major factor reportedly involves the history of Japanese wrestling and never once has the top Japanese guy in the industry has ever left for a deal in the United States. Meltzer reported that the closest to this would be Shinsuke Nakamura who was a top three star and KENTA who was Pro Wrestling NOAH’s top star at the time when he left for WWE in 2014. Meltzer reported that Io Shirai leaving Stardom for WWE in 2017 was the first time in history that the top Japanese woman star had left for a deal in the United States.
Other factors reportedly includes Okada being very loyal to New Japan Pro Wrestling and the declining value of the yen compared to the dollar.
Those spoken to reportedly stated that while there has been interest from Okada and the chances of him actually leaving are better now than before, his current level of interest in a potential WWE deal is not meant to be viewed as any kind of a sure thing to happen.
In regards to Giulia, Meltzer reported that those spoken to stated that Giulia has yet to make any decision regarding the future of her career. Giulia and WWE officials reportedly have held several talks of late to the point that there is something to the story of her potentially leaving. Meltzer reported that Giulia has not told anyone in Japan that she will be staying or leaving as of this week.