It is being reported that WWE are keen on signing the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA.
This report comes from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, who noted that although WWE have been linked with several NJPW stars this year, the KUSHIDA rumour is different because “unlike other New Japan guys who they are after, this is one where the confidence level is at the point where it’s being talked about more prominently.”
Meltzer continued: “At least one idea has been talked about which would involve him at NXT.”
KUSHIDA’s current deal expires at the end of January, but WWE’s difficulty in securing his signature lies largely in the fact that he is in his sixth reign as Junior Heavyweight Champion, and would therefore have to drop his belt prior to any move.
WWE has also expressed interest in other NJPW stars this year such as Tetsuya Naito, current number one contender for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, but Naito has said he has no interest in making the move.
There is often an intense sense of loyalty within NJPW stars to stay with the company, which is often a reason why WWE find it so difficult to sign stars from Japan.