Tama Tonga Announces NJPW Exit Only Minutes After Winning Title At Wrestle Kingdom 18

Tama Tonga set to leave NJPW

Only minutes after becoming NEVER Openweight Champion for the fourth time, Tama Tonga announced that January 2024 will be his final month with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Tama went one-on-one with Shingo Takagi for the NEVER Openweight Title at Wrestle Kingdom, picking up the win after channelling his Bullet Club past to hit a Styles Clash before he connected with the DST. 

The new NEVER Openweight Champion then took part in a post-match press conference, during which he announced he would be leaving the promotion.

Issa of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, who was in attendance at the press conference, tweeted: "This is Tama Tonga's last month with #njpw. He wants to find work closer to home as he misses his family and leaving them at home is not something he wants to continue to do (as this was his childhood). He loves Japan, this company and every wrestler #njwk18. As elated as Tama is with the current state of his career, he misses his family and finds it difficult to leave them home. He loves Japan, has the utmost respect for the company and wrestlers... having grown up in this life, he finally understood how his father felt...But it is time to be home with his family."

Tama Tonga has been a part of New Japan Pro-Wrestling since 2010 and he has been full-time with the company since 2013. Beyond his four reigns with the NEVER Openweight Championship, Tama is a seven-time IWGP Tag Team Champion with brother Tanga Loa as Guerrillas of Destiny, and a four-time NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champion. Guerrillas of Destiny are also former ROH World Tag Team Champions. 

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Aidan Gibbons

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