Kazuchika Okada Taking Time Off After Major Family Event

Kazuchika Okada has had a busy summer.

Not only did the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion win the grueling G1 Climax tournament, becoming only the second wrestler to win the tournament four times, but he also became a father. Okada and his wife of three years Suzuko Mimori welcomed a son sometime in "the past few days" according to NJPW's English language website.

With the big tournament win and the bouncing baby, Okada has determined that it is the perfect time to take some time off. During a press conference commemorating his G1 win, Okada noted that he had earned some paternity leave from the company and intends to use it to refresh himself before the upcoming Burning Spirit tour which will run from September 2 through 25.

Okada bested Will Ospreay in the final of the 32nd annual G1 Climax on Thursday. At Friday's press conference, Okada announced his intention to main event Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4, 2023, hoping to bring prestige back to the G1 Climax winner. In previous years, the G1 Climax winner has defended his right to challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion on the road to Tokyo Dome. This year, Okada feels that winning the G1 means that he should be the only guarantee on January 4, and he will be waiting for whoever holds the title by then. 

Next year's Wrestle Kingdom will revert back to its usual one-night presentation, after breaking up the event into two nights in 2020 and 2021, and then three nights in 2022.

The entire Wrestling Inc. staff sends Okada and his family congratulations on the new baby.

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