Following his victory at this year’s G1 Climax 32 Tournament, Kazuchika Okada has announced that he will be taking a hiatus from New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Okada has yet again written his name into the history books by winning the fourth G1 Climax of his career, he is now only behind Masahiro Chono in the all-time list. The now-retired star having won the tournament five times.
The ‘Rainmaker’ spoke to the press for the first time since his win over Will Ospreay in the competition’s final and expressed his gratitude to his opponent and to everyone that competed in this year’s tournament.
He was quoted on njpw1972.com as saying:
“I woke up this morning, and the first thing I felt was gratitude. Gratitude to my opponent yesterday, Will Ospreay, but also to all of the wrestlers who were involved in the tournament, and the staff and fans that made everything possible. I really felt that it was because of everyone’s efforts that I was able to perform at the level I perform and win.”
Winning the G1 Climax has also given Okada an opportunity to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, currently held by Jay White, at next year’s Wrestle Kingdom event.
It was revealed at the G1 finals that Wrestle Kingdom will be returning to a one-night show and will take place on January 4th 2023 in the Tokyo Dome.
While Kazuchika Okada will have his eyes set on capturing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for a 6th time in the future, his immediate focus will be on his newly-born son and he revealed that he will taking a temporary hiatus from wrestling to spend time with his family:
“I’ve been lucky enough to receive some paternity leave from the company, which I’m very grateful for, and as I take a little bit of time off, I’ll be refreshing and then coming back to kick ass in the next tour.”
Meanwhile, this year’s G1 Climax runner-up is set to appear on next Wednesday’s edition of AEW Dynamite, where he will team with Aussie Open to take on Death Triangle in the AEW World Trios Championship Tournament.