According to Kazuchika Okada, the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) is “far superior” compared to WWE. During an interview with Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) to commemorate his top ranking in their PWI 500, Okada, speaking through an interpreter, was asked if he’s considering following former NJPW wrestlers who have eventually entered the WWE such as AJ Styles, Finn Bálor, and Shinsuke Nakamura, among others. Okada said the idea is something he doesn’t want to think about.
“It’s not something I think about. New Japan is far superior to WWE when it comes to the quality of the roster and the quality of the matches. One thing I will say is that I do pay attention to what Finn Balor, AJ, and Nakamura are doing, and they look like they’re having fun. I might want to wrestle them again someday, but I might want to do that in New Japan. Hell, I might want to be like some other people and become a movie star or join the UFC. You never know.”
Okada also commented on NJPW’s rising popularity within the United States, which recently hosted the G1 Climax Special last July to determine the inaugural IWGP United States Champion. He believes there is still a long way to go but the goal is to continue growing and make the entire world know about NJPW.
As Top Rope Press reported, Okada became the first Japanese wrestler in the 27-year history of the PWI 500 to earn the top spot. He’s also the first overall wrestler in the No. 1 position who doesn’t work for an American-based wrestling promotion.