WWE Reportedly Pursuing Current IWGP Champion & Top NJPW Star KUSHIDA; Contract Set To Expire In Early 2019

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One of the greatest junior heavyweight superstars in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling may be heading to WWE in 2019…

A new report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has confirmed that one of the names — and there are several of them, apparently — that WWE is currently pursuing is none other than the current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, KUSHIDA.

KUSHIDA is set to defend his title against Taiji Ishimori at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on 1/4, and his contract with New Japan is set to expire at the end of January, reports the Observer. Looking at the schedule for 2019, the Tokyo Dome could be the last time for them to take the title off him, but that may not be a perfect indicator because many believe Ishimori is in line for the title regardless.

A six-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, KUSHIDA is considered the “Ace” of the New Japan juniors division. While others have come and gone — names like Finn Balor, Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi and Ricochet — KUSHIDA has remained steady as a rock, holding down the weight class as the one true constant for many years.

At this point, KUSHIDA signing with WWE when his contract expires is far from a done deal. The Observer notes that there have been talks about him for weeks now, as the company is being bolder than in the past with approaching talents and trying to secure deals, no matter the potential legal ramifications.

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