NJPW Star Claims Tama Tonga Has Been Fired

In a surprising turn of events after his NEVER Openweight Championship win at Wrestle Kingdom 18 last week, Tama Tonga announced he would be leaving New Japan Pro-Wrestling at the end of the month. In a post-match press conference just minutes after winning the title, Tonga cited missing his family and not wanting to be an absent father to his children as the main reasons behind his sudden departure.

However, it appears his time as a New Japan star may have come to an unexpected end. As of this morning, Tonga’s profile has been removed from both the Japanese and international English versions of the company’s website. Additionally, he is no longer listed as the NEVER Openweight Champion with House of Torture leader EVIL taking his spot instead, who Tonga was set to defend the belt against in the main event on The New Beginning In Nagoya on January 20th. In a post to X this morning, EVIL addressed Tonga’s sudden removal from both websites.

“Tama’s profile has been properly deleted,” EVIL wrote (translated via Google Translate). “It’s a company decision that Tama is already fired. I don’t have to come to the Nagoya game either. Hahaha!”

Tonga has since taken to his own X account to express his confusion while New Japan Pro-Wrestling has not commented on the situation at the time of writing. The move is particularly bizarre as the announcement that Tonga would be headlining the January 20th event was only made yesterday and posts of said announcement remain live across the company’s websites and social media accounts.

Haus of Wrestling was told by a source familiar with Tonga to remain skeptical of his release from the company. If Tonga were legitimately released, they believe he would have much more to say. “I won’t believe anything with him until he’s standing in a different company’s ring.”

Tama Tonga has been with New Japan for almost 14 years, making his debut for the promotion back in May 2010. On top of winning the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship seven times alongside his Gorillas of Destiny partner Tanga Loa, he is most notable for being one of the four founding members of the Bullet Club alongside Fergal Devitt (now WWE’s Finn Balor), Bad Luck Fale, and Karl Anderson.