Jim Ross has discussed the star from New Japan Pro Wrestling he wishes was in AEW as ‘The Forbidden Door’ continues to be smashed open in the wrestling world.
Ross worked with NJPW between 2015 and 2018 providing commentary on WrestleKingdom and other events for their AXS TV show in the US alongside Josh Barnett. Ross’ first show commentating on the action from the Tokyo Dome was WrestleKingdom 9 where in the main event Hiroshi Tanahashi retained his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kazuchika Okada.
Okada was already a two-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion by the time JR got to call his matches but the star’s status in the company was about to rise sharply, thanks in part to his legendary series of matches with current AEW World Champion, Kenny Omega.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast [which first aired at AdFreeShows.com] Jim Ross explained that with wrestling’s ‘Forbidden Door’ seemingly wedged open, he’d love to see Okada in the land of All Elite.
“After a couple of years of doing voiceovers I still enjoy watching New Japan, they give you some great matches from time to time, some really great matches. And some of my favourite stars are there. I wish we had Okada, I’d love to see Okada in a big pay-per-view main event for AEW someday. And who’s to say that can’t happen? I don’t know that it’s going to happen.”
“[…] We have a great relationship with the New Japan office and I think that somewhere down the road, one would assume when travel issues are lessened, having an AEW presence in New Japan for some big shows, seems to me would be a likely move. Secondly, if that’s the case then reciprocally having some guys from New Japan here – I’m partial, Okada’s a friend of mine and we like each other, even with his English and my Japanese which is non-existent, we communicate pretty well.”
Kazuchika Okada hold the record for defences as IWGP Heavyweight Champion with 30 and held the title for a combined 1790 days over five separate reigns. His 720-day reign from June 2016 until losing the title to Omega in June 2018 is the longest in company history.
At the upcoming Wrestle Grand Slam event due to be held in the Tokyo Dome on the 25th of July Okada will resume hostilities with Will Ospreay’s United Empire group as he goes one on one with Jeff Cobb.