WWE is known for hiring great International talent. Many of them are top stars on the Independent scene before WWE even considers bringing them in. People like Wade Barrett always wanted to get hired by WWE and came to the United States to get an opportunity to be seen more. However, some worked overseas and only could get a tryout when WWE came through. Usually, international stars get a few opportunities to get a local tryout each year. WWE does two European Tours normally, and recently ended up doing a Japanese run.
This is where, according to Wrestling Inc, WWE is trying out a few top Japanese stars. Both Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuchika Okada are getting opportunities to show WWE what they have. This is cool to see, as WWE has seen the massive success of hiring Japanese stars in the past. Hideo Itami has been a great addition so far and is sure to be even better when he recovers from shoulder surgery. Meanwhile, legends such as Tajari and Antonio Inoki came from there as well.
Many believe that Okada and Nakamura would be great additions to WWE’s growing international list. The thing working against Nakamura is his age, he is 35-years-old and has been wrestling over a decade. His body has taken a lot of punishment in Japan, but he is a big name that many fans across the world will know. Meanwhile, Okada is 27-years-old. He was trained by Ultimo Dragon, a legend across the world, especially in Japan. The thing he also has going against him is time in the ring. He debuted in 2004 and has been wrestling in NJPW since 2007. He did appear in TNA a bit from 2010 to 2011, but then returned to Japan where he has been since.
Both are heavily accomplished Japanese performers, both of which would be great additions to WWE NXT and eventually the main roster. While Nakamura is 35-years-old, Hideo Itami is only a year younger at 34. However, WWE cannot continue to hire older talent. While hiring someone at 30 or 31 is one thing, the mid-30’s hurts WWE long term as they have to rush to get as much out of the talent as possible. With someone like Okada, they have time to develop the star that he is and see what they have.
Do not be surprised if Okada gets hired and Nakamura does not at the end of the day. Although both are big names in Japan and across the world, it’s about need in WWE. They could certainly invest a lot of years in Okada, but Nakamura would fall into Yoshi Tatsu territory, and no one wants that.