WWE Rumor Mill: WWE strongly interested in a top star in the Junior Heavyweight division of New Japan Pro Wrestling
What’s the story?
WWE's aggressive push towards getting hot independent talents to continue as the company is reportedly interested in current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA.
In Case You Didn’t You Didn’t Know…
KUSHIDA has been a long mainstay in New Japan Pro Wrestling. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion has captured the title six times in his career, with his latest victory coming at King Of Pro-Wrestling on October 8, where he defeated Marty “The Villain” Scurll to capture the vacant title.
The previous champion, Hiromu Takahashi, was forced to drop the title due suffering a neck injury back in the summer.
Other than the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title, KUSHIDA is best known for his tag team, Time Splitters, with former X-Division champion Alex Shelley. The two captured the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team championship twice and won the Super Juniors tag team tournament back in 2012.
KUSHIDA’s also competed in Ring of Honor, where he’s a former ROH World Television Champion, CMLL, and All Japan Pro Wrestling.
The heart of the matter
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, KUSHIDA is on WWE’s radar and the company is looking to sign the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion once his contract finishes at the end of January. This isn’t the first time WWE has tried to pursue New Japan talents lately, as the company previously made offers to several of the promotions top stars including Tetsuya Naito, who made it clear that he had no interest in going to WWE.
KUSHIDA is set to defend his title against Taiji Ishimori at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4th. There’s no word on if KUSHIDA has any interest in going to WWE but The Observer has stated that the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion has been a hot topic amongst WWE officials for weeks now and that the company is being bolder than in the past with approaching talents and trying to secure deals, no matter the potential legal ramifications.