In the wake of the news that Kazuchika Okada (and to a lesser extent Tama Tonga) would be leaving New Japan Pro-Wrestling and following the likes of Jay White and Will Ospreay to the brighter spotlights and bigger paychecks available from U.S.-based companies, there’s been some concern about NJPW’s future.
Supporters point to the crop of young talent New Japan was already in the process of elevating before Okada’s announcement, and it’s not as if there’s a mass exodus of established stars. IWGP World Heavyweight champ Tetsuya Naito doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. And now it looks like his Los Ingobernables de Japón stablemate Hiromu Takahashi is sticking around for the foreseeable future, too.
At least according to Tokyo Sport’s Yusuke Okamoto:
【ニュース速報】— 岡本佑介@東京スポーツ新聞社 (@okamotospo) January 29, 2024
Translation of Okamoto’s post (via X):
[Breaking news] Hiromu Takahashi, whose contract was renewed today, quickly left the office without responding to any interviews from the waiting press (I was the only one). That’s all from the scene… Ah! wait a minute! This is LINE from Hiromu-chan! “I signed a contract ” It’s a contract! Hiromu Takahashi is under contract! That’s all from the scene!
Takahashi is a five-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ whose latest reign just ended at Wrestle Kingdom 18 earlier this month. He’s also won New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament a record four times. He’s scheduled to face Mustafa Ali at NJPW’s Chicago show, Windy City Riot, on April 12.