wrestling / News

UPDATED x3: AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura & More Sign With WWE — New Details On If They’ll Be Used On NXT, Debut Dates, More

January 5, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

UPDATED x3: On the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio (via wrestlinginc.com), Dave Meltzer spoke more about the situation. Meltzer noted that the sort of money being offered to Styles and Nakamura are not for NXT deals; they are for main roster spots. When discussing the men leaving New Japan, he also noted that there are Royal Rumble surprises planned and some of these names could appear in the match.

UPDATE x2: NJPW ran their WrestleKingdom follow up event this morning, and some interesting storyline things happened. According to puroresuspirit.net, Bullet Club turned on AJ Styles during the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dash event in Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan this morning; Kenny Omega took control and leadership of the group. Anderson, Gallows, and Hall tried to help Styles. The Young Bucks sided with Omega. This was Styles’ final scheduled appearance with NJPW. Omega also defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in a tag match during the show, setting himself up as the next challenger.

UPDATE: The Wrestling Observer now reports that AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson have all in fact signed with WWE. The site reports that the four stars gave their notice to NJPW booker Gedo this morning at Wrestle Kingdom 10. It isn’t known when they will be starting with WWE but as noted, Nakamaura won’t be leaving right away as he will drop the IWGP Intercontinental Title before he does.

The site notes that Anderson was close to signing with TNA but when the WWE deal came around, he changed direction. New Japan has a one-year contract system which meant that their deals expired as of January.

Nakamura, Anderson and Gallows will honor their committed Ring of Honor dates next month in Las Vegas. AJ Styles is said to be done with ROH moving forward.

ORIGINAL: In a potentially big news story, MLW Radio is reporting that several major New Japan Pro Wrestling stars have given their notices. Among those said to be leaving are AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows.

The news is bolstered by reports from Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE is “raiding” the talents and that they’ll all be leaving New Japan shortly. Nakamura may take a bit longer to leave given that he is the IWGP Intercontinental Champion. Styles had been working without a contract in New Japan and had said in recent interviews that he would be willing to go to WWE if it made financial sense for him.

The move will be a big blow to New Japan if the stars do leave; Styles, Anderson and Gallows are all part of the Bullet Club faction and Nakamura is one of the company’s top stars as well. We’ll have more on this story as it develops.