NJPW News: Kazuchika Okada is 'the Japanese Randy Orton', says Cody Rhodes
Rhodes speaks favourably of his New Japan adversary.
What’s the story?
Ring of Honor Champion Cody Rhodes recently spoke with Fanbuzz.com and discussed several topics, including Marty Scurll, The Young Backs and WWE’s The Revival.
The former WWE superstar also lavished praise on New Japan Pro Wrestling rival and the reigning IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada and likened him to Randy Orton.
In case you didn’t know…
Kazuchika Okada is considered among the top three professional wrestlers on the planet, if not the best. "The Rainmaker" is in the midst of his fourth run with New Japan’s top prize and his reputation as one of the premier professional wrestlers in the world has been reinforced even more over the past year because of his involvement in critically acclaimed matches with Kenny Omega.
Rhodes and Okada also developed a rivalry after the former’s arrival in New Japan as the member of the notorious faction, The Bullet Club. Cody Rhodes, during the early years of his first stint with the WWE, was part of The Legacy stable and then later feuded with Randy Orton.
The heart of the matter
During the interview, Rhodes was asked about Okada and he immediately labelled him the Japanese version of Randy Orton.
The former Intercontinental Champion said (H/T Wrestlezone), “I hope people understand what I’m saying, but Okada is the most WWE superstar I’ve ever wrestled. He reminds me of a Japanese Randy Orton. He is aware of every camera that’s on the floor, it’s almost as if he’s aware of every heartbeat that’s in the building.”
Even before reinventing himself as "The Rainmaker", Okada has always found himself drawn in comparisons with Randy Orton based on his mannerisms, good looks, smoothness, arrogance, and similarities in the execution of their dropkicks.
Earlier in the year, it was confirmed that Rhodes would be spending a majority of 2017 in the Japanese promotion, which he now refers to as his ‘home-base’.
As for Okada -- who finished the 2017 G1 Climax tournament with six wins, one draw and two loses -- he will look to add to his catalogue of great matches and continue his reign as New Japan’s top champion.
While I can see why many would be tempted to find a resemblance between Okada and Orton, in my opinion, the comparisons end at the dropkick. Okada is far more charismatic, consistent and just outright better as a performer than Randy Orton.