Last night’s Monday Night Raw saw Vince McMahon drop a major bombshell in announcing the 30-superstar match at the Royal Rumble would be for the WWE Title. At the same time, a bigger explosion was happening in the wrestling world. NJPW stars AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Luke Gallows are reportedly heading to WWE, but will they all start in NXT first?
MLW Radio reported that all four of those stars have indeed given notice to New Japan Pro Wrestling and are done with the promotion. They are heading to WWE, but what are the plans from there? Some are wondering if NXT is in their future or if they will be going straight to the main roster.
According to the Wrestling Observer, it has been confirmed that all four are indeed leaving NJPW, but Nakamura may be leaving later than the others. He is currently the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, and he will need to drop the title before he can leave.
As for the other three, NJPW runs on a one-year contract system, where deals end in January, and that coincides with their notice. AJ Styles was currently working without a contract in NJPW and always said if a good enough deal came forth from WWE, he would take it.
During last night’s New Japan Pro Wrestling Dash event at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, The Bullet Club turned on Styles with Kenny Omega taking over the leadership role. It is now being said that will be the last appearance by Styles in NJPW.
Luke Gallows had apparently been in talks with TNA, but those broke down once word of the WWE deal came through.
Now, everyone is wondering if all four of these veteran wrestlers will go straight to the WWE main roster or head to NXT first. The answer is yes.
The Royal Rumble is quickly approaching, and as usual, there are some surprises likely to be thrown in as far as entrants. It’s quite possible that one or two of these NJPW stars could appear in the match and make their WWE debuts.
According to WrestleZone, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura did not sign NXT deals with WWE. This means there are plans in place for them both to be main roster stars from the moment they arrive in the company.
Yes, they could work some matches or events for NXT, but they’re set for the main roster.
As for Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, they could very well end up in NXT first for a while and then head up to the main roster. Gallows spent time in WWE from 2005 to 2007 as a character named Festus and was then repackaged under his current name. He was released from WWE in late 2010.
As for Karl Anderson, this will be his first time in WWE, but he has spent time in numerous other promotions such as Ring of Honor, NWA, and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. It’s not known if WWE will keep Anderson and Gallows together as a tag team yet or not.
This is an absolutely huge move by WWE and opens numerous doors for new feuds and matches. With Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and Hideo Itami currently in NXT and likely heading to the main WWE roster in 2016, it could be a big year in wrestling.
Now, if only Daniel Bryan could be cleared to return to the ring.
It’s not known exactly when, but it is known that AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Karl Anderson are heading to WWE soon. They may not all start in NXT, and that means some big roster additions are happening in a short amount of time.
[Image via TNA]