NJPW star KUSHIDA has opened up about his WWE departure, noting that the the turnover in NXT is ‘relentless’.
KUSHIDA became a free agent in April, after his WWE contract expired. He made his NJPW return in June, before returning to the ring for the promotion during the New Japan Road tour in July.
In an interview with NJPW, KUSHIDA commented on the behind-the-scenes changes in NXT, ahead of the NXT 2.0 reboot in September 2021.
Explaining why he chose to leave WWE, KUSHIDA said:
“Well, to set the scene a bit, the turnover in WWE is really relentless. In August of 2021, there was a really sudden change in thinking there. Essentially they wanted to train young wrestlers, under 30, that didn’t have pro-wrestling experience and had come from other athletic backgrounds. When it comes to me, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that left me redundant, effectively.
“You have to remember I was 36 when I got an offer from WWE. It still really seems kinda hard to believe that HHH would reach out with an offer.
“So with this youth push on over there, it wasn’t like I had a shoot time machine of my own, so it became ‘OK, what can I do here?’. Everyone was asking the same questions, I think, actually. And NJPW immediately popped in my head. I felt really strongly right away that LA would be the best place to base myself.
“Even when I was in WWE, I had wanted to move from Orlando to LA, but the company wouldn’t let me; that hurt my motivation a little, heh. I think there’s a little bit of magic around LA that made it somewhere I always wanted to live.”
Over 20 onscreen names have finished up with WWE this year. You can check out the full list of WWE departures in 2022 right here.
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