With Shinsuke Nakamura confirming the rumors that he’ll be leaving the company, New Japan Pro Wrestling isn’t taking any chances with their Intercontinental title. Not wanting to take any chances of a repeat of what happened with Alberto Del Rio jumping ship from AAA with their Mega Championship, NJPW went ahead and preemptively stripped Nakamura of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship he won back in September.
This is disappointing news for a lot of people, as he was set to face Kenny Omega, newest leader of the Bullet Club. With Nakamura on his way out, he would have presumably dropped the title to Omega. It’s an interesting move, and taking away an expected match finish isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but my goodness Omega would’ve looked great draped in gold. Omega will now face a mystery opponent in the main-event of New Beginnings in Niigata on February 14.
Nakamura had been heavily courted by WWE in the past few months, prior to the expiration of his contract in January. Nakamura will finish out his remaining dates this month, but there’s no word on when he’ll be making his WWE debut. He’ll join newly poached former-NJPW roster members AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows, as well as La Sombra, who was scooped up back in November.