Hiroshi Tanahashi addresses NJPW talent exits, expresses gratitude to Kazuchika Okada

Photo Courtesy: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

NJPW President Tanahashi speaks about Okada’s pending exit. 

After over a decade with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Kazuchika Okada is wrapping up with the company and will formally exit after The New Beginning tour concludes. 

NJPW President Hiroshi Tanahashi spoke about Okada’s pending exit in an interview with Tokyo Sports. He expressed gratitude to the multi-time IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. He added that he would’ve liked to see Okada work more with the younger generation of talents. Tanahashi feels Okada has done his best in NJPW and hopes to see him spread his wings to the world. 

I can only express my gratitude… Speaking personally, I would have liked to have seen more matches with the new generation… However, I know that he has done his best in New Japan. I hope he will spread his wings to the world.

He went on to state that if Okada is heading overseas, he hopes he’ll continue to show who he is. Tanahashi is proud of Okada and has the same feeling he felt when Shinsuke Nakamura departed NJPW.

If he is going overseas with what he has achieved at the top in New Japan, I hope that he will show Kazuchika Okada. It’s the same feeling I had with (Shinsuke) Nakamura. I am very proud of him.

Tanahashi addressed talent exits from NJPW such as Jay White, Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi, Tama Tonga and now Okada having either finished up or planning to finish up with the company. 

He does not view it as an ordeal or a test. He added that he’ll take things in stride and continuing moving forward. 

I don’t think of it as a test at all (talents exiting NJPW). I’m going to take it in stride and move on. That’s the way it is in most wrestling organizations. We are immune. New Japan is developing its young wrestlers, so you can look forward to a new New Japan.

Okada, Tanahashi and Ishii are the reigning NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions and they’ll defend their titles on 1/24. 

At The New Beginning in Osaka, Tanahashi and Okada will be going one-on-one. 

About Andrew Thompson 8444 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.