For more than a decade, Kazuchika Okada has been the face of New Japan Pro-Wrestling and, in the process, is now one of the most recognizable Japanese wrestlers in recent times. It should come as no surprise then that The Rainmaker has attracted the attention of WWE, much like Shinsuke Nakamura did back in the mid-2010s before he eventually signed with the company in 2016.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that there has been renewed talk within the company expressing interest in Okada. While WWE is said to have been interested in him for years, and has been unable to act on it due to his loyalty to New Japan, the idea has resurfaced recently due to him nearing his late 30s and his close relationship with Nakamura. From Okada’s perspective, this would allow him to do the one thing he’s never done achieving every conceivable goal in New Japan.
The promotion’s interest in Okada is also said to be partly behind Nakamura’s significant push as of late. Nakamura has been presented as an upper mid-card following his main event program with World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and this is reportedly in order to show Okada the new Triple H-led regime isn’t going to treat him poorly like several Japanese talents have been historically within the promotion.
Meltzer added, however, that there has simply been more talk than usual regarding The Rainmaker within WWE and as such, the company hasn’t made any moves in an attempt to sign him.
Okada last appeared in the west on the October 25th edition of AEW Dynamite where he teamed with AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy to take on Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli of the Blackpool Combat Club. Danielson was portrayed to have suffered an orbital bone injury thanks in part to Okada’s Rainmaker which led The American Dragon to challenge Okada to a singles rematch at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 next January.