KUSHIDA has officially returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Following Taiji Ishimori‘s successful defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship over Best of the Super Juniors winner Hiromu Takahashi, the former junior ace made his first appearance in NJPW since his final match on Jan. 29, 2019. KUSHIDA got into the face of the champion and made it clear that he wanted the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Ishimori said KUSHIDA will have to prove himself before even being considered for a match. KUSHIDA made note that he signed a contract with NJPW that will have him “spend the rest of my wrestling life in NJPW” (credit njpw1972.com).
KUSHIDA IS BACK!
Check out what happened when he confronted Taiji Ishimori, and his first comments backstage in English!https://t.co/Ej3BZJzXHv
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 21, 2022
KUSHIDA’s return to NJPW and the junior division is a welcome one. It was earlier this year that his nearly four-year run with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) came to an end and all signs pointed to him making his return to his former promotion. While he may not have been able to achieve as much as he would have hoped in WWE, KUSHIDA did hold the now-retired NXT Cruiserweight Championship for 161 days before losing it to Roderick Strong. KUSHIDA also noted in his post-show presser that he plans to move from Orlando to Los Angeles with the goal of spreading NJPW worldwide.
“I want to use the benefit of my experience and put the rest of my efforts and pro-wrestling life into furthering NJPW around the world,” KUSHIDA said at his press conference.
The former junior ace of NJPW returns with some of the most impressive accolades NJPW’s junior division has seen. First off, he is a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and is determined to make that seven. KUSHIDA also won the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship twice with Alex Shelley as part of the Time Splitters. Finally, he is a two-time BOSJ winner and one-time Super J Cup winner.
After challenging himself to go to WWE, KUSHIDA is finally back home in NJPW and should help raise up the junior division and promotion once again with his presence.
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