NJPW veteran is on board...

Even before departing New Japan Pro Wrestling at the end of January, word had been that WWE was interested in signing KUSHIDA. It was during a press conference shortly after Wrestle Kingdom 13 that KUSHIDA announced he would be leaving the company after January 31, which only fueled the WWE speculation.

On Friday, the six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion officially signed with WWE,where he will join the NXT brand.

Said NXT founder Triple H, "We’re making history tonight... ...and the show hasn’t even started. Welcome the internationally renowned KUSHIDA to NXT."

KUSHIDA's final match before leaving New Japan came on January 29 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, losing a near-25-minute match to Hiroshi Tanahashi. He dropped the Junior Heavyweight title to Taiji Ishimori at WrestleKingdom on January 4.

Across his eight years with New Japan, KUSHIDA additionally held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles twice with Time Splitters partner Alex Shelley, won both the 2015 and 2017 Best of the Super Juniors tournaments, and also won the 2016 Super J-Cup. KUSHIDA also reigned for four months in 2017 as Ring of Honor Television champion.



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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.