Nakajima further speaks about his pending free agency.
At the conclusion of October 2023, Katsuhiko Nakajima will have formally wrapped up with Pro Wrestling NOAH. The promotion is sending him off with two matches in late October as he is opting to become a free agent.
Nakajima has been making the media rounds and speaking about his decision to depart NOAH. He further touched on that while chatting with Tokyo Sports. He told the outlet that the idea of becoming a free agent first came to mind in 2022.
He mentioned that thoughts came to mind about being ‘protected’ for a long time because he was under contract to NOAH. He wanted to get rid of that thought.
I think it was around last year that I was feeling bothered. As I approach this age (I will be 35 on March 11th), I can see my 20th year ahead of me, can’t I? Maybe it’s just a male thing, but I think it’s a time to think about it no matter what job you have. You have been protected for a long time because you had a contract with NOAH. If I could get rid of that, I think the landscape would change even more. It would be my last chance, considering my age.
As far as what Nakajima is looking for going forward, he wants a scenery that cannot be seen or felt in NOAH. He reiterated that nothing has been decided regarding his future, adding that if he was going to WWE or AEW, he would have announced it already.
(I’m looking for) scenery that cannot be seen or felt in NOAH. For example, if I were to go to WWE or AEW, I would have already announced it. Then you can graduate cleanly. Nothing was decided, so I didn’t hold a press conference and announced it on social media.
Further touching on WWE, Nakajima believes the atmosphere is what makes the company attractive. He then went on to point out wrestlers in WWE and AEW who he’s familiar with. Nakajima also brought up NJPW and AJPW.
I think it’s the atmosphere (of WWE that makes it attractive). I only see them on Twitter, but I know at least a little bit about the Japanese wrestlers. Recently, I saw that IYO (SKY) and Asuka had a singles match, and I saw that Claudio Castagnoli, who I used to fight, is in AEW. Also, Kenny (Omega) and Kota Ibushi. I think the rumored WWE, AEW, New Japan and All Japan will be scenery that can’t be seen in NOAH, so I think it would be worth it if I could go. However, if there is no meaning in it, I won’t act.
Speaking about his last matches in NOAH on October 20th and 28th, he stated that he asked NOAH for those matches.
I asked the company for this card… I have decided to graduate by putting all the feelings I have had for NOAH into these two matches, so that’s really all I have to say.
At the post-AEW WrestleDream media scrum, AEW President Tony Khan expressed interest in bringing in Nakajima.
On 10/20, Nakajima will team with Go Shiozaki and Masa Kitamiya to take on Daiki Inaba, Manabu Soya and Masaaki Mochizuki. His final match with NOAH on 10/28 will feature him tagging with Shiozaki. They’ll be facing Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura.