During an interview with Tokyo Sports, former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega announced he would be leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Omega, who lost the IWGP Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 last week, told Tokyo Sports that he needed time away from the company.
“There is no real place for me to fit, so it’s best for me not to be in (New Japan). I can’t be there working under Tanahashi. I don’t think he’s surpassed me, don’t think he’s better. If we can, I want to face him again. But I need time away, and not just from New Japan.”
Omega’s current deal with New Japan is set to expire at the end of January. The timing is interesting given wrestling media reports that WWE has interest in him, along with Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks starting up the new All Elite Wrestling promotion.
Cody, The Bucks and Hangman Page all finished up with New Japan this past weekend.
Another top star with WWE interest also leaving
During a post-Wrestle Kingdom 13 press conference, KUSHIDA announced he would also be leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling after his deal expires on January 31.
News broke on Twitter (courtesy of @reasonjp) featuring comments from KUSHIDA.
KUSHIDA: As Sugabayashi said, I will leave NJPW on January 31. This was an extremely tough condition made with Meij, Sugabayashi and Kidani. It was a very big decision in my life and I’m thankful they understood. I will head overseas and to see the world of pro wrestling.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) January 7, 2019
KUSHIDA was largely considered one of the top stars in New Japan’s junior heavyweight division and has been with the company for the last eight years.
WWE is reportedly interested in signing him.