KENTA is the latest member of the New Japan Pro Wrestling roster, having debuted during today's Dominion 6.9 pay-per-view in Osaka-Jo Hall.
The former Hideo Itami was introduced in a segment with Katsuyori Shibata. The retired shoot-stylist's entrance music hit towards the show's mid-point, provoking a massive pop, though 'The Wrestler' stopped halfway down the ramp. He turned around, pointed at the entrance way, and signalled the arrival of KENTA, who strode out in a black and gold version of Shibata's old "Takeover" tee.
A brief promo saw KENTA declare his participation in this year's G1 Climax, joining Shingo Takagi and Jon Moxley, both of whom had done the same earlier in the evening.
This was the first time KENTA has been seen since departing WWE in February. Though not without its successes, injury and the complete dilution of his bruising, hard-hitting style rendered his time in Stamford a disappointment, and it'll be interesting to see how he rebounds in NJPW.
What's most interesting about this development is that KENTA was once considered Pro Wrestling NOAH's ace, having spent 14 years with the promotion prior to moving to America. Loyalty and promotional jumps are considered a big deal in Japan, and this move has already sparked mass debate amongst puroresu fans, many of whom expected to see the 38-year-old back in NOAH.
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