Kushida Reportedly Parts Ways With WWE

According to a recent report, Japanese wrestler Kushida is no longer with WWE.

Former NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida is reportedly no longer a member of the WWE roster.

According to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, Kushida parted ways with WWE after his contract expired.

Kushida signed for WWE in 2019. His signing was announced by Triple H at a press conference in New York City just a few days prior to that year’s WrestleMania. In a video on the WWE Performance Center channel at the time of his in-ring WWE debut, Kushida was shown talking about how excited he was to debut in NXT. After defeating Kassius Ohno on his debut, Kushida told an interviewer he felt “reborn” and happy.

The 38-year-old cut his teeth in his native Japan and made a name for himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling — the country’s most prestigious professional wrestling promotion. During his NJPW tenure, Kushida became a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and a two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion (with Time Splitters teammate Alex Shelley). He also won the 2015 and 2017 Best of the Super Juniors tournaments, and the 2016 Super J-Cup.

While his WWE tenure was largely uneventful, Kushida did have a few standout moments. In 2020, he reunited with Time Splitters partner Alex Shelley in order to compete in that year’s Dusty Classic. The team was eliminated by The Grizzled Young Veterans in the first round, but the moment was special as it was the first time Shelley and Kushida had teamed up since 2015. It was also Shelley’s first appearance in a WWE ring since 2005.

Last April, Kushida won his first and only title in WWE when he defeated Santos Escobar for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Kushida lost the title to Roderick Strong on the September 21 episode of NXT 2.0. More recently, Kushida performed as one half of a comedy duo tag team called Jacket Time with his countryman Ikemen Jiro.

Source: TheSportster

UPDATE:

The belief within WWE is that Kushida is going to be returning to New Japan Pro Wrestling at some stage in June, following his WWE departure, according to Dave Meltzer on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio.