The rumors of Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, and some Bullet Club members leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and signing with WWE have taken over wrestling for over a week now. WWE is never one to comment on rumors or what sites are reporting, but they went as far as to report a “possible invasion” last week. Now, they’re teasing fans yet again by mentioning the NJPW stars in an article about the biggest signings in WWE history.
It isn’t 100 percent certain that Nakamura, Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson are heading to WWE, but it sure seems like it. Jim Ross has said that it’s as good as a “done deal.” 411 Mania is reporting that AJ Styles has now been pulled from all Ring of Honor advertisements and events.
If anything, Anderson and Nakamura still have some contractual obligations to finish out in NJPW and wouldn’t show up in WWE for a few months yet. As for Styles and Gallows? They’re currently free agents and could even debut at the Royal Rumble in a couple weeks.
After last week’s report about an invasion from NJPW, WWE is once again commenting on the possible signings of the big-time stars. Now, they have released an article about “The 10 Biggest Signings In WWE History,” and they’re being blatantly obvious.
Not only do they come right out and name all the NJPW stars by name, but they even touch on WWE stars getting on social media to comment on the rumors. Daniel Bryan is just one of the many who have done so, and NXT Champion Finn Balor hasn’t been overly quiet about it.
“Unconfirmed rumors have been running rampant that Shinsuke Nakamura and The Bullet Club are in negotiations with WWE, and a series of cryptic tweets to and by the New Japan standouts have only served to stoke the flames. The office of WWE COO Triple H has been mum on the issue, and anyone who might have a line on the international stars’ plans isn’t talking. If the four rumored signees — Nakamura, AJ Styles, Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson —domake their way to WWE, they’ll immediately become part of a long tradition of marquee signings by the Titan Tower talent team.”
After that, the list from WWE is actually quite an interesting one, especially considering they start with former Bullet Club leader Finn Balor. From there, the list does jump all over the place to many different years and eras of WWE.
Here is the full list in order:
- Chris Jericho
- Rey Mysterio
- Kurt Angle
- Eddie Guerrero
- Bill Goldberg
- Samoa Joe
- Hideo Itami
- Big Show
- Finn Balor
It’s a very interesting list, and one would find it hard to argue with any of them. One should take notice though that three of the names on the list are all NXT debuts made within the last year and a half.
Anyone would have a hard time arguing the WWE debut of Chris Jericho being the number one overall selection in that list. It’s hard to believe that it happened 16-and-a-half years ago, but it’s still one that is easily at the front of the minds of wrestling fans.
The Y2J countdown alone that aired on Monday Night Raw for weeks prior to his debut is enough to take the win.
WWE is really trying to keep the story of the NJPW stars coming into the company alive and have people talking, or they’re just trolling fans. It’s hard to believe that they would mention AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson by name if they weren’t about to sign with WWE.
[Image via NJPW]