For many New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) fans, there was a surprise guest backstage in the WWE. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada attended the July 3rd episode of RAW. Since both RAW and SmackDown Live occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, this week, it was likely an easy commute for Okada, who competed for NJPW’s G1 Special in USA broadcasts last weekend.
Okada met with several WWE superstars including former NJPW wrestlers Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Bálor, who at the time competed as Prince Devitt.
— Finn Bálor (@FinnBalor) July 4, 2017
— オカダ・カズチカ (@rainmakerXokada) July 4, 2017
— Sin Cara (@SinCaraWWE) July 5, 2017
Based on a tweet from Goldust, he also met with Okada. The IWGP Heavyweight Champion had defended his title against Goldust’s brother, Cody, during Night 1 of the G1 Special in USA from Long Beach, California.
— Dustin Rhodes (@Goldust) July 4, 2017
Cody, the current Ring Of Honor World Champion, lost against Okada on July 1, but Goldust noted his younger brother is still better than The Rainmaker.
And, while many will read something into Okada’s visiting old friends during a WWE show, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Okada is locked into a contract with NJPW, and he’s made clear that the promotion is his first priority. So, despite whatever rumors may surface from this week’s happenings, don’t expect Okada to leave NJPW any time soon.