Former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA recently announced that he is leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is expected to start with NXT after his contract expires on January 31st.
“I will leave NJPW on January 31,” KUSHIDA said at a press conference earlier this month, translated by NJPW announcer Chris Charlton. “This was an extremely tough condition made with Meij, Sugabayashi & Kidani. It was a very big decision in my life and I’m thankful they understood. I will head overseas and to see the world of pro wrestling.”
According to Dave Meltzer in a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, one of the reasons for KUSHIDA’s departure was creative differences. According to Meltzer, KUSHIDA wanted to turn heel and join The Bullet Club, but NJPW booker Gedo did not approve that request as he felt that New Japan’s side needed a solid junior heavyweight.
KUSHIDA’s last match with the company will be on January 29th against IWGP Heavyweight Champion “The Ace Of NJJPW” Hiroshi Tanahashi. While the two did not agree on The Bullet Club angle, it was noted that KUSHIDA has handled his departure professionally, which is why he is getting his first singles match against Tanahashi before he leaves the company.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter