New Japan Pro Wrestling’s official website announced the following…
In the wake of the announcement earlier today that Kazuchika Okada will be leaving NJPW at the conclusion of his contract on January 31, with his final appearances scheduled for February 11 in Osaka and 23 and 24 in Sappoto, changes have been made to the New Beginning series cards.
January 24 will see Okada in his last NJPW match in Korakuen Hall. There, the NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag team Championship match, previously scheduled for New Beginning in Osaka will take place, Okada teaming with Tomohiro Ishii and Hiroshi Tanahashi to face TMDK’s Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls and Kosei Fujita. The TMDK side, and the impetuous Kosei Fujita in particular will not be looking to let a symbol of NJPW for the last decade leave with a title in his grasp. Yet with the vice like grip the champions have had over the gold to date, is this too tall of a mountain for TMDK to climb?
The freed up Zack Sabre Jr will now be facing Tiger Mask in a unique singles match to start the night’s main card action, while the scheduled opening bout pitting Katsuya Muraashima and Toru Yano against Shoma Kato and Boltin Oleg is now a special bonus kickoff.
February 11 will see the New Beginning in Osaka, and a special singles matchup for Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. New Beginning in the EDION Arena in 2012 was the start of it all for the Rainmaker and the Ace. 12 years on, they face off one last time on a night that will be full of emotion.
Okada will be making his final NJPW appearances in Sapporo on February 23 and 24. More details will be released at a later date.