Former WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion KUSHIDA is returning to in-ring action at the New Japan Road shows next month.
NJPW announced Tuesday that KUSHIDA’s first match back will be on July 3, when he teams with Hiroshi Tanahashi & Alex Zayne in a Six-Man Match against KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo. Thereafter, on July 4, KUSHIDA & Tanahashi will wrestle KENTA & Ishimori in a tag team bout.
As noted earlier, KUSHIDA returned to NJPW earlier this week at the New Japan Road event in Korakuen Hall. The former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion would confront Ishimori, the current champion, after Ishimori’s successful defense against Takahashi. During their confrontation, Ishimori told KUSHIDA he needed to win a few matches before earning a title shot.
After the event, KUSHIDA confirmed that he had signed a new contract with NJPW. In an emotional backstage promo, he would also declare that he plans “to spend the rest of [my] wrestling life” in the promotion, according to NJPW’s English broadcaster and translator Chris Charlton.
Massive matches made for July 3-5 in Korakuen!
7/3, KUSHIDA & KENTA return!
KUSHIDA, Tanahashi, Alex Zayne vs BULLET CLUB!
7/4 KUSHIDA & Tanahashi vs KENTA & Ishimori!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 22, 2022
KUSHIDA IS BACK!
Check out what happened when he confronted Taiji Ishimori, and his first comments backstage in English!https://t.co/Ej3BZJzXHv
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 21, 2022
Back in April, KUSHIDA’s WWE profile page was moved to the WWE Alumni roster, which led to speculation over his status with the company. It would be later reported by Fightful Select that Kushida’s WWE contract had expired, and it was unknown if he was offered a new deal. At least one source told Fightful that the exit was related to budget cuts, but that was never confirmed.
Shortly before his WWE exit, KUSHIDA and Ikemen Jiro had grown in popularity on the NXT brand as a team known as “Jacket Time.” KUSHIDA’s last-ever WWE match happened on the March 25 edition of “NXT Level Up” where he and Jiro came up short against Edris Enofe & Malik Blade. His last singles bout came on the March 15 “NXT 2.0” where he took a loss to the debuting A-Kid.
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