Kazuchika Okada Makes Official AEW Debut, Replaces Kenny Omega & Adam Page In The Elite

While huge announcements are customarily reserved for Tony Khan in AEW, The Young Bucks exerted their EVP authority on "AEW Dynamite" and were about to break some huge news themselves before Eddie Kingston interrupted them, leading to a fight. As the Bucks set Kingston up for the EVP Trigger, none other than "The Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada hit the ring to make the save — or so it seemed, before Okada turned on Kingston and was announced as the newest member of The Elite.


That group, of which the Bucks are founding members, was newly free of "Hangman" Adam Page and Kenny Omega. Prior to the exchange with Kingston and Okada's debut, Matthew and Nicholas Jackson declared that Page was "suspended indefinitely from The Elite without pay," for contact with officials at Revolution, and that Omega was outright fired from The Elite for not making any of his dates of late, "for no good reason." Omega, of course, has been out since mid-December battling diverticulitis, while it's been reported that Page is taking time off following Revolution.

After finishing up with New Japan Pro-Wrestling at "The New Beginning In Sapporo" on February 24th, Okada returns to AEW, this time as a full-time competitor, having competed for the promotion three times prior in 2022 and 2023. He leaves NJPW a seven-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, a NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team Champion (with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii), a four-time winner of the G1 Climax tournament, and a two-time winner of the New Japan Cup. Those accolades may have had AEW fans prepared to welcome him to the company as a hero, but his instantaneous alignment with the EVPs seems to have flipped that script right at the start.