Should Kazuchika Okada Go To WWE?

12/1/2023 6:11 AM

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Should Kazuchika Okada Go To WWE?

Should Kazuchika Okada Go To WWE?

December 1, 2023 6:11 AM
Should Kazuchika Okada Go To WWE?
WWE News

Whether the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion should make the move over to WWE.

Once again, former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada is the latest name to be brought up when it comes to WWE. This isn’t the first time the New Japan star has had the interest of the big wrestling promotion. During one of the hottest periods of New Japan Pro-Wrestling Okada was on top of the world and considered one of the best wrestlers on the planet.

“The Rainmaker” has never shown much interest in going to WWE; however, the peak days of his career have wined down. Okada is still performing at a top level, but he’s no longer the face of the brand. New Japan Pro-Wrestling is currently focusing on newer and young stars like SANADA and Shingo Takagi. With another reign at the top seemingly finished for the foreseeable future, should Kazuchika Okada finally head over to the WWE?

Why Kazuchika Okada Rejecting WWE Was A Wise Decision

When the independent scene became insanely hot in 2017, one of the big reasons is due to the Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada matches. It wasn’t just about the matches as the story being told brought out the best in both Okada and Omega as characters.

The Bullet Club faction was extremely popular during this time and it helped translate over to New Japan. Kenny Omega and The Bullet Club had a cool factor that resonated with wrestling fans as most considered them to be the modern NWO. But whenever Okada and Omega met in the ring, it was pure magic. This wasn’t Okada’s first great match, as he has plenty of them, but this feud brought a new dimension to Okada’s character that was vital to his growth.

However, had Okada gone over to WWE during this period, he wouldn’t have gotten to the level of popularity that he did during this time. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion would’ve gotten the exposure to introduce him to WWE audiences, but Vince McMahon’s track record with foreign talent isn’t all that great.

Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura have had the best run under Triple H’s wing in NXT, but the moment they stepped onto the main roster everything crumbles. To be fair, Asuka continued her undefeated streak and even became the first winner of the women’s Royal Rumble. Nakamura did get a solid push up the top of the card, even beating names like John Cena and he even won the Royal Rumble.

But there are too many other names that have come and gone under Vince McMahon’s tenure that are treated as nothing more than lower card names. Kenta and Kushida are the most recent examples, with the former failing to get anything going in Triple H’s development. Other guys like Tajiri, Funaki, Sareee, Jiro "Ikemen" Kuroshio, Yoshi Tatsu weren't given much to work with. But it isn’t just the Japanese guys that had issues on the main roster; Ultimo Dragon, Andrade, Essa Rios, Sin Cara (though to be fair, Sin Cara’s push in the beginning was a disaster because of his mistakes), Hunico, and Grand Metalik are just some of the names that had strong reputations before joining the company, and were essentially nothing more than middle card fodder. More importantly, Vince had this obsession with making foreigners hate America. It happened with Rusev and even the United States of Nakamura was a think briefly. Long story short, WWE didn’t know how to properly handle foreign talent that wasn’t fluid in English.

Okada wouldn’t have gotten over on the level that he did in 2017/2018 if he went down in WWE. At best, he would’ve gotten the Shinsuke Nakamura treatment. Even then, Nakamura just isn’t the same guy that he was in New Japan.

There’s Not Much For Okada To Do In New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Vince McMahon is gone. While the WWE Chairman still has his foot in the door, his creative power in the company has changed drastically. Before the pandemic, New Japan Pro-Wrestling was one of the hottest promotions on the market, but there just hasn’t been that much buzz about the promotion as of late.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling still has amazing matches. But the diversity of their roster hasn’t changed all too much. Some new blood has stepped up since 2018, most notably Will Ospreay, Shingo Takagi, and SANADA, but most of the talents on that roster have been there since the early 2000s. There’s only so much Kazuchika Okada can do when the roster isn’t constantly evolving.

Though he has never won mid-card title such as the IWGP US or the Never Openweight Championship, the veteran is no stranger to names like Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki, or Shingo Takagi. Okada has done nearly everything that is for him to do in the promotion and it would be a breath of fresh air to see him in a different environment. Plus, there are plenty of fresh opponents up and down the WWE roster. From Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, CM Punk, or Sami Zayn; There are too many dream matches that Okada can have in WWE that would re-ignite the buzz he had in several years ago.

Okada SHOULD Go To WWE

There’s no guarantee that Okada will succeed in WWE. His run can turn out to be a bust like Kushida and Kenta. However, the former iWGP Heavyweight Champion has stated that he doesn't have much time in the ring left.

Given his age - Okada is 36 - the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion should at least try a brief run in the biggest wrestling promotion in North America. His legacy won’t be harmed in New Japan if it turns out to be a failure. However, it will surely excel if Triple H manages to turn Okada into a huge success. But if Okada never opts to step foot in a WWE ring then it doesn’t change that he’s one of the best wrestlers of the modern generation.

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