It may only be a few days into 2016, but January 4 may be seen as a day the wrestling landscape changed.
Not just for the fact that New Japan Pro Wrestling’s curtain raiser Wrestle Kingdom 10 blew everyone out of the water with not one, but three contenders for match of the year, but for the reports some of its vital talent have handed in their notice.
Before the dust had begun to settle on WK10, there were rumours that several members of the NJPW roster had handed in their notice for pastures new.
The most shocking part was the names of the talent included two of the men who stole the show at WK10.
It was reported late last night on Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Radio and on Court Bauer’s MLW Radio that WWE had reportedly signed former IWGP and TNA Champion AJ Styles, former IWGP Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson away from NJPW.
With the rumour mill in full swing it is unsure when the four will appear in a WWE ring, whether it will be directly on the main roster or if they will start at Fall Sail in NXT.
Styles is the big shock, as a man who many thought would never step foot inside a WWE ring and one of the wrestling industries hottest free agents, it looks like WWE will benefit from Styles being in arguably the best shape of his life.
Nakamura, Anderson and Gallows are all expected to honor their Ring of Honor dates next month in Las Vegas.
With Nakamura holding onto the IWGP Intercontinental championship after WK10, it is unlikely that he will make a swift exit from NJPW, but he could be appearing in a WWE ring as soon as post-Wrestlemania.
Even whilst writing this article more news has come out from NJPW, that Bullet Club – The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega – had a Super-Kick party with Styles as the target and Omega pinning Nakamura setting up a new age of one of wrestling’s best heel factions.
After Styles addressed the Japanese crowd thanking them for everything. So what does the future hold?