TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 04: Kenny Omega vs Hiroshi Tanahashi during the IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Wrestle Kingdom 13 at Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by New Japan Pro-Wrestling/Getty Images)

Report: Kenny Omega & Kushida Leaving New Japan


Today it was reported on that Kenny Omega and Kushida are leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling following their title losses at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Kushida announced he would be leaving the promotion on January 31st. Chris Charlton shared translations of their statements on Twitter.

Kenny Omega: “reflecting back on it, the #njwk13 match was a bout to decide the protagonist of New Japan… I take full responsibility for the loss’, ‘There is no real place for me to fit, so it’s best for me not to be in (NJPW). 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.”

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. I have been here in NJPW for 8 years. I was surprised at the scale of the business when I first came in and proud of being able to work here. The warm reception and words from the fans made me who I am and I am so grateful to them. you meet so many people in this business from fans to rivals to allies and staff, and they all helped to grow me.

When I won the BOSJ a few years ago I said I’d lead the division to a bright future. I was so happy to hear the BOSJ finals will be in Ryogoku. Some may say I put it there, but it’s due to the efforts of everybody in the division to make a change. I have no doubt- the junior division will be absolutely fine without me. I am contracted with this company until the end of January so I won’t be talking much about beyond then. But it has been my dream for a long time to travel the world with professional wrestling. And that’s what I will be doing.

I increasingly took on the role lately of working with younger talent, and while not teaching, learning together. Along with that, going back and forth between ROH and New Japan I realised I am now 36 and have much less in front of me career wise than behind. being with Shibata in the Dojo I learned how difficult it was to teach the next generation. A lot of personal research has to go into that progress. For me, in order to best teach the next generation, what do I need to do? I loved this journey through life with everyone here.

I don’t know why I’m crying. This is my decision and I’m not sad I made it. These are happy tears. if there was anything left for me to achieve and do, I wouldn’t be leaving. But I’ll put my all in this last month. There’s been a lot of people who have influenced me over these 8 years. Liger, Tana. Shibata, Makabe, Tiger Hattori. They all enjoy wrestling.”

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