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    Monday, January 7, 2019

    Post-Wrestle Kingdom 13 News: KUSHIDA Leaves, Kenny Omega On Hiatus, And Other NJPW News

    Good Monday! Or not, if you're a fan of Kenny Omega and KUSHIDA wrestling in New Japan, because they just left!

    Let's feel the despair Kenny Omega felt when he distracted Kota Ibushi from his title shot against AJ Styles in 2015.

    Their shocking departures are some of the biggest bombs to drop days after New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 13. Here are the rest of the news that came out of NJPW's post-WK13 press conference and elsewhere:

    • Kenny Omega is out of New Japan (or so he claims)! As translated by NJPW commentator and Japanese translator Chris Charlton from a Tokyo Sports interview with Omega, the Best Bout Machine and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion announced plans to fly the coop. 

    We say: Tokyo Sports speculates in their headline that Omega might finally answer the McMahon's call to WWE or join his Elite buddies over at All Elite Wrestling, which will have a "rally" for its first event Double or Nothing on January 8. Funded by NFL Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan, AEW has already signed the Young Bucks, Cody, and Hangman Page. Khan will serve as its president, while Matt and Nick Jackson along with Cody will serve as its Executive Vice President, and Brandi Rhodes its Chief Brand Officer.
    True believers must note, however, that Omega said in the interview that he is undecided where he will wrestle next, as his contract with New Japan is still in effect until the end of January.
    The rough translation of this is: "If I go to WWE fans will be happy, if I go to AEW fans will be happy. Where Kenny can go to find "happiness" I can't say. Right now, New Japan isn't that, so I will go."

    Kenny Omega fans were also quick to point out that this wasn't the first time he announced a hiatus from New Japan, as he made similar remarks in 2017 (also translated by Charlton) when he was defeated by then-IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada during the first of their legendary trilogy of matches.
    • However, KUSHIDA's departure from NJPW was confirmed during the post-Wrestle Kingdom 13 press conference by NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi and the man himself.
    We say: KUSHIDA's departure has long been rumored, with some speculating that he's the next New Japan star to be poached by NXT. His last match will either be on January 29 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo or the 30th in L.A for The New Beginning.
    • Takashi Iizuka, currently Suzuki-gun's unpredictable madman, announced his retirement. He set his retirement ceremony on February 21, 2019, ending his career after 32 years and some change. 
    We say: While new fans recognize him as a guy who bites a lot and has an iron hand, Takashi won the IWGP Tag Team Championship with several notable people. The legendary Riki Choshu counts as one of his partners, along with Kazuo Yamazaki and Toru Yano, with whom he won the GHC Tag Team Championship at NOAH. Takashi, with Yano, also won a Best Bout Award from Tokyo sport for their match against Keiji Mutoh and Kenta Kobashi for All Together, a series of cross-over events between NJPW, Pro Wrestling Noah, and All Japan Pro Wrestling to raise aid for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
    • Chairman Sugabayashi also announced that Kota Ibushi, who suffered a minor concussion thanks to Will Ospreay's elbow at WK13, will not participate in NJPW's next few shows.
    In other news, NJPW also released their card for The New Beginning in Sapporo for February 2 and February 3.

    Highlights from Day 1 include Okada and new IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in their first straight tag match against Bad Luck Fale and Jay White; and two singles matches between SANADA and Minoru Suzuki, and EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr.

    The Los Ingobernables de Japon boys will defend their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship titles against Suzuki and ZSJ on Day 2. Their comrades, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI, will defend their Junior Heavyweight tag titles against Suzuki's men, El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, beforehand. Finally, Suzuki-gun's original ikemen, the Holy Emperor Taichi, will challenge newly-minted IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito for the main event.

    Fantasticamania 2019 was also announced. The annual event brings wrestlers from lucha libre promotion CMLL for some of the most high-flying and wacky matches outside of NJPW's junior heavyweight events.
    Comments? Thoughts? Speculation? Hit us up in the comment section below or share away on social media!
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    Item Reviewed: Post-Wrestle Kingdom 13 News: KUSHIDA Leaves, Kenny Omega On Hiatus, And Other NJPW News Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Rie_Takumi
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