Speaking to Tokyo Sports, Kazuchika Okada said this was probably his “last chance” of trying something different other than New Japan Pro-Wrestling and that is one of the reasons he decided to leave.
Okada said this was his fifth and final year of his NJPW deal and when he thought about re-signing or doing something else, he realized that it’s his last chance of wrestling somewhere else so he decided to move on.
He also said that he wanted a new challenge and didn’t want to be that man where he’s sitting cross-legged. Staying in Japan where he has friends and the best environment would have been ideal for him as the “human” Okada, but the “wrestler” Okada wants something else.
Okada revealed that he informed the people close to him in advance that he was giving notice and wrestlers from all around the world got in touch with him after the announcement was done.
He still has one title match he needs to do before he completely leaves New Japan and that is the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team match with NJPW President Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii against Mikey Nichols, Shane Heist, and Akio Fujita which will take place on February 24. That will be his last match as a group and for NJPW, at least for the time being.