wrestling / News

Lance Archer Discusses Kazuchika Okada Possibly Signing With AEW

March 2, 2024 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Eighteen - Kazuchika Okada vs. Lance Archer Image Credit: NJPW

– During a recent interview with Casual Conversations, AEW star Lance Archer discussed Kazuchika Okada possibly joining AEW. The two have faced each other in the past in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and also wrestled during the G1 Climax 32 tournament, Below are some highlights (via Fightful):

Lance Archer on Kazuchika Okada potentially joining AEW: “I mean, if he shows up in AEW, The Rainmaker knows what he gets into when he steps in the ring with me. I got the luxury of the honor of being around him when he first returned back to New Japan, when The Rainmaker was born, making his debut at Wrestle Kingdom and then watching him skyrocket as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, wrestling him time and time again in G1s and other scenarios, and then the pandemic hit, and couldn’t go back to Japan. But I’d signed on with AEW at the time, so for me, it was good timing professionally because nobody knew the pandemic was coming, but I signed with AEW in early 2020. Obviously, everything changed, the pandemic came, but New Japan, it was a very difficult place because of the travel restrictions that existed. So I didn’t get to go back to Japan for almost over two years, and then finally got to go back in summer of 2022. My final day of the G1, which was an odd G1 to begin with because the fans were still not allowed to cheer. We’d have full houses, they could clap, they could ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’, but there was no loud cheering and chanting of names or singing songs or anything like that. So it was a different and new experience. But I got to work with Okada, with an opportunity to move on in the tournament, but he bested me. But the match itself was one of my most memorable matches.”

On his matches with Will Ospreay and Okada in previous G1 Climax tournaments: “A lot of people were, from my understanding, were very happy with it, very excited about it. It was kind of another one of those, they know who Okada is. He’s The Rainmaker, he was the heavyweight champion many times over, biggest star in New Japan at the time, and one of the biggest in the history of New Japan, and I’ve had a couple of those moments in my career. Will Ospreay, who just showed up with us, having matches with him where people knew who Will Ospreay was and how amazing he is, and was at the time, but they just didn’t understand what I was able to do in the ring. When I stepped it up with him, it opened a lot of people’s eyes. Fast-forward with Okada, it was kind of the same scenario in the G1. If he does, I’m excited about knocking the teeth out of the Rainmaker yet again.”

Okada is heavily rumored to be signing with AEW. It was recently rumored that he could be making his AEW debut as early as March 6 in Duluth, Georgia.