Matt Hardy Assesses Kazuchika Okada's Prospects After Signing With AEW

"The Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada is now part of All Elite Wrestling, and many people are predicting big things for the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. While speaking on "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," the titular host admitted that he looks forward to seeing what Okada can do in AEW. 


"I'm intrigued and it's a good intrigued," Hardy said. "I don't know Okada a lot, the few times I've met him I've liked him a lot, he seems very nice. The [Young] Bucks speak very highly of him, so he's a big star there's no doubts about that, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, extremely talented individual. So I'm very excited to see his impact on AEW, especially as the AEW audience and people outside of the international wrestling bubble really get to learn who Okada is and really get to see how talented he is." Hardy also stated that pairing Okada with the AEW EVPs is an excellent idea as it makes everyone feel comfortable, given their shared history in places like TNA, ROH, and NJPW.

Many fans and critics have praised Okada's pairing with The Young Bucks as it is a character shift that some people have never seen from the former NJPW star. Hardy also believes that if Okada can genuinely pull off a heel turn long-term, it will also help his career as a whole. "I think personally, it gives you career longevity if you can go in a different direction, you can do something new, and if you can establish it and get it over, it can help you have career longevity." Hardy backed up this statement by using actors as an example, stating that they are forced to change characters in different roles and that wrestlers need to do the same to adapt.


Matt Hardy Has A List Of Dream Opponents For Kazuchika Okada

Given how stacked AEW's roster is at the time of writing, the list of dream matches that fans are putting together for Kazuchika Okada is endless. When asked who he would like to see Okada face, Matt Hardy said an old foe in a new setting would be very interesting.


"Will Ospreay is so incredible," Hardy said. "That's a match that stands out. I mean, he's totally incredible. It's like whoever you put him in the ring with, he just creates this magical realm of wrestling that is just unprecedented nowadays." Outside of running it back with Ospreay, Hardy thinks some homegrown AEW talent could put up a good fight. "I would love to see Okada and Darby [Allin], I would love to see Okada and MJF, Okada and Jungle Boy [Jack Perry] maybe down the road. There's a bunch of people I'd like to see him with."

Hardy has never had the chance to mix it up with "The Rainmaker" during his career, but Eddie Kingston will get the chance this week on "AEW Dynamite." "The Mad King" will be Okada's first one-on-one opponent since signing for the company, and he will put his Continental Championship on the line. Okada already has a pinfall victory over Kingston, which happened on the "Big Business" edition of "Dynamite" when Okada and The Young Bucks defeated Kingston, PAC, and Penta El Zero Miedo.


Please credit "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy" when using quotes from this article, and provide a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.