A new report has given an update on the future of NXT star KUSHIDA after it emerged that he has left WWE at the end of his contract.
In recent months, Japanese sensation KUSHIDA has been part of a tag team with Ikemen Jiro on NXT 2.0. Known as Jacket Time, the team has served mostly as a comedy act on the show, and they have also made appearances on NXT: Level Up.
On the evening of April 18th, eagle-eyed fans noticed that KUSHIDA’s official profile on WWE.com had been moved to the Alumni section instead of him being listed as a member of the active roster. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful later confirmed that the star is indeed gone from the WWE.
Now Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio has given an update on KUSHIDA’s future and says the star could be back in New Japan Pro Wrestling as early as June:
“He is done, his contract expired, it was not a secret that he was not gonna stay. I know the belief in WWE is he starts in New Japan in June so that’s what they believe and it’s probably the case. So yeah, he signed a three-year deal and kinda wasted three years of his career I think.”
Meltzer continued by discussing KUSHIDA’s time in WWE and states that he think the move to the company was never going to work out for the former six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion:
“I know he wanted to come to the United States, I think he was 35 or 36 at the time. I think in his mind he had plateaued because he was the face of the New Japan Junior Heavyweight Division and then Will Ospreay and Hiromu Takahashi pretty much passed him up.”
“WWE had been after him when Paul Levesque was trying to sign all the great workers and the guy’s a great worker so it seemed good, but once he got here. It’s tough if you’re a small Japanese wrestler in WWE. Even during the Levesque era when they were more into wrestling ability and size he still wasn’t a good fit because more than the wrestling ability they were into the talking ability and he was not a great English language talker so it was gonna be tough.”
“But he was a big star, remember when they signed him they made a big deal of him, they gave him a big debut and acted like they had got a giant star and he was legitimately a big star in Japan at the time but for all the reasons you would have expected it didn’t work out, it wasn’t going to work out and now with the handwriting on the wall, he kinda wasted three years in a lot of ways.”
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