The announcement of Kushida‘s departure from New Japan Pro Wrestling was an emotional one. At the press conference after Wrestle Kingdom 13, the six-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion and two-time Best of the Super Juniors winner revealed that he will be leaving NJPW when his contract is up on January 31, 2019, and shed tears after Hiroshi Tanahashi (at 28:15 in the video below) asked him about his most “enjoyable” and “painful” experiences working for the company.
NJPW announced that the Ace and the Time Splitter will again share a significant moment related to Kushida’s departure when they face off in a his last match for the promotion. The sixty-minute-time-limit non-title singles match will be the main event of the January 29 Road to the New Beginning show.
Kushida and Tanahashi have frequently tagged together since Kushida joined NJPW in 2010, but have never been in opposite corners. They’ve always been in the same faction and in different weight classes. This will be the first time, according to cagematch, that they’ve wrestled one-on-one.
Kushida’s announcement also prompted responses from wrestlers he’s worked with in NJPW and ROH wishing him the best as he starts the next phase of his career, which he’s only been able to specify will include working overseas so far, but is rumored to be in WWE.