In today’s world of professional wrestling, Kazuchika Okada is regarded as one of the top elite wrestlers in the world. This wasn’t always the case and almost certainly had the potential of not occurring at all. We are going to take a look back to the year 2010.
Prior to being known as Impact Wrestling, the company was known as TNA and had a working agreement with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Kazuchika Okada would make his debut for TNA in 2010 in a run that would last only a year. During his tenure with the company, it was plagued with questionable booking decisions. His time there is regarded by many as being the most misused talent in company history.
However, the following year NJPW took Okada and made him one of the biggest names in professional wrestling. Impact Wrestling is well aware of their prior mistreatment of “The Rainmaker”.
According to a report from PWInsider, Impact Wrestling paid a visit to NJPW in late 2017. This was done in a attempt to restart the working relationship that had ended in 2011. During the visit, Scott D’Amore would personally apologize to the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada for the way he was booked.
Earlier today here on eWN, Davey Boy Smith Jr was departing NJPW over not being allowed to work for Impact Wrestling. Well it seems NJPW prior dealings with Impact are still on their mind.
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer had the following to say:
”Everyone else who was in power when Okada was there is gone, you know, everyone. It’s not even the same company, but they’re still mad at Impact over Okada. So you know, I remember one year Scott D’Amore went there to the Tokyo Dome a couple of years ago and [he said] ‘It’s all new all of those people are gone, we’re sorry what happened to Okada’ and they still have that mentality like these are the people who couldn’t figure out what to do with Okada.”
Currently, NJPW only has a working arrangement with Ring Of Honor. While rumors have circulated that there is one in place with All Elite Wrestling, New Japan has continuously denied that being factual.