Report Details Backstage Reaction To Kazuchika Okada's AEW Debut

After months of speculation regarding his next move, Kazuchika Okada became the latest domino to fall in wrestling free agency, signing with AEW and making his official debut for the promotion last week on "Dynamite." And he did so in shocking fashion, stunning fans by attacking Eddie Kingston, turning heel and joining The Young Bucks as the newest member of The Elite in the process. While those outside of AEW never saw it coming, it all went to plan for those within the promotion.


Fightful Select reports that plans not only called for Okada to come in as a heel, but had been in the works before Okada had put pen to paper. AEW owner Tony Khan is said to have come up with the idea for Okada to turn heel and join The Elite as far back as December, shortly before Okada entered free agency, and after AEW star, and Okada's rival, Kenny Omega was sidelined by diverticulitis. From there, it was conceived that the Bucks would fire Omega from the stable, and replace him with Okada.

Separate from that, Khan also had Okada debut as a heel due to the AEW owner's belief that the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion could become a major star in the US as a heel. That belief has been confirmed for many after last week, as Okada's debut, and subsequent performance on "AEW Collision" this past Saturday earned rave reviews, with many within AEW considering Okada's first two nights to be a "home run."


The next step in Okada's AEW run will take place this Wednesday at "AEW Dynamite: Big Business" in Boston, Massachusetts. He will once again team with the Bucks, this time taking on Kingston, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Pac, who returned at "Collision" to confront The Elite.