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By Mike Johnson on 2016-01-04 23:09:00
For those who have asked about stories making the rounds that a number of talents that work regularly for New Japan Pro Wrestling have given notice and will be leaving the company, we are told that those stories are partially correct but the idea that anyone has signed with WWE is, as of this writing, not correct at all.

The WWE signing part is one of the versions of the story that are making the rounds but to be clear, no sources within WWE or even outside of it, have been able to confirm that, as of this evening, there have been any signings of any of these talents.

In the case of AJ Styles, he was not under a New Japan contract. Styles is obviously in demand and there is obviously interest in him from just about every promotion, but according to several sources, he has not signed anything with anyone. That doesn't mean he's not going to return to the States and sign somewhere, but as of now, he's not signed with anyone. Within the last week or two, ROH had removed posters featuring AJ Styles for upcoming events and replaced them with new posters sans Styles. It is believed Styles finished up with ROH at Final Battle.

The two other big names bandied about are The Bullet Club's Karl Anderson and Doc/Luke Gallows.  In the case of Gallows, he was not under a New Japan contract.  Anderson's deal expires towards the end of the month. He showed up in amazing shape at the Dome last night. It is believed that their departure is more to clear the deck in case there is interest elsewhere for them, but they have not signed anything. They are still being advertised for future ROH dates.

The final name being discussed is the current IWGP Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura.  In Nakamura's case, the belief is that while he has expressed interest in seeing what his future might hold outside NJPW, that discussions between he and New Japan may not have completed and his final decision remains up in the air. We have heard stories going back a year that WWE officials, after seeing him on a tape of the 2015 WrestleKingdom PPV, had expressed interest in him. That said, the idea that Nakamura was signed by WWE already just isn't feasible given the visas and other paperwork required for WWE to hire him, but it's within the realm of possibility to be sure.  It's just as possible Nakamura and New Japan will come to terms on a new deal. For Nakamura, nothing is set in stone.

There were a number of people in and around New Japan, including some of the principals involved, who were very angry the story leaked before talents had finished up their dates, specifically since the business is so well protected by those in Japan.

Obviously, with all the talk and conjecture, one would think that tonight's New Japan show in Korakuen Hall could be about as newsworthy as last night's WrestleKingdom Tokyo Dome show was.

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