Kazuchika Okada appears at Korakuen Hall, addresses crowd

Originally published at Kazuchika Okada appears at Korakuen Hall, addresses crowd - POST Wrestling | WWE NXT AEW NJPW UFC Podcasts, News, Reviews

Kazuchika Okada made his first public appearance since announcing he had contracted COVID-19 when he appeared at Wednesday’s NJPW event at Korakuen Hall.

Okada, who has not wrestled since May 3rd, entered the ring and addressed the crowd, and said it’s time for him to lead in the wake of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship being vacated by Will Ospreay. Okada had been scheduled to challenge Ospreay for the championship at the Tokyo Dome this weekend, but the card was postponed due to the extension of the state of emergency in Japan.

After wrestling in a six-man tag on May 3rd, Okada was removed from the following day’s Wrestling Dontaku card in Fukuoka. The former IWGP heavyweight champion revealed earlier this week that he had tested positive for the virus.

Okada spoke backstage at Korakuen Hall with the following transcription from the New Japan website:

It’s been a hectic few days, but like I said in the ring, I’m doing great. I had COVID, and my matches were delayed. Yokohama Stadium and Tokyo Dome might have been postponed, but to further postpone my (IWGP World Heavyweight Championship) challenge, now that I’m fit and healthy, I can’t let that slide. So that’s why I took the time to come out here and say what I said.

I said this on the radio, but as far as my COVID experience is concerned, I have nothing but gratitude. To the doctors, the health center staff and most of all to NJPW. Even when everything was very uncertain, the company did everything they could to look after me and the care was top notch. It’s because of all that I’m able to be here today as healthy as I am. The company has decided to keep everybody’s names private… although I went and blabbed on my own, heh. But I got permission for that… maybe that wasn’t something they were planning to give, but they said it was just as important for me to be able to put it out there.

I really have so much gratitude for them to support us all like that, in all sorts of ways. But it can’t end just with gratitude. I have to pay back the company, and all the fans who were worried about me, with great matches. This month, I only wrestled three days, and even last month I could count my matches on one hand. So I’ve got a lot of stuff pent up. I don’t know what’s around the corner, but I’m ready to let loose, and you can look forward to seeing that.

NJPW is scheduled to host its annual Dominion card on Sunday, June 6th at Osaka-jo Hall, however, no matches have been announced yet.

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