Report: NJPW's Kazuchika Okada Wrestling With 2 Slipped Discs In Lower Back
The Rainmaker is in a lot of pain
Since dropping the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Tetsuya Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 14, Kazuchika Okada has largely remained out of the IWGP Double Title and now IWGP World Heavyweight Title picture. The closest The Rainmaker has come to the main event scene is when he made it to the final of the 2020 New Japan Cup, but EVIL ultimately emerged with the win on that night.
Since then Okada has largely focussed on personal rivalries with Will Ospreay and The King Of Darkness, but he did create the King Of Pro-Wrestling title and competed for the trophy at Summer Struggle in Jingu.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer, Okada has largely been kept out of the main event scene because he has been wrestling with two slipped discs in his lower back for the past several months. The injury is said to be "legitimately crippling" and the five-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion is in a lot of pain backstage.
Despite the injury, Okada doesn't appear to be ready to take some time off. He was eliminated in the first round of the New Japan Cup 2021 by Shingo Takagi, but he was in action only one day later in a multi-man match.