According to a new report from Fightful Select, Kushida is no longer with WWE. The report indicates his contract expired and it’s unknown if there were negotiations for a new one. That said, the report also notes “one person in the company” seemed to believe his being gone is due to budget cuts.
Whether it was a release or simply electing not to re-sign him, he is no longer with the company.
Kushida, who came in with some hype as a top junior heavyweight from New Japan Pro Wrestling, spent some time as Cruiserweight champion and was going to be featured more before everything changed and NXT became NXT 2.0. He lost said title, and it wasn’t long before it was merged with the North American championship.
He ended up paired up with Ikemen Jiro in a tag team known as Jacket Time, though they never quite got off the ground with that.
Considering his age and NXT becoming more of a true developmental territory perhaps this isn’t too terribly surprising. That said, there should be a strong market for his services.