NJPW star Hikuleo confirms he had talks with WWE.
Earlier in 2023, WWE was reportedly interested in Hikuleo and Tama Tonga, per Fightful Select. However, both stars remain featured with NJPW.
“It was true [Tama Tonga and I were speaking to WWE]. I think it added more value to the match,” Hikuleo said. “Everyone had their idea of who was going to win and who was going to lose, but the fact that, right after that Jay announced the loser leaves match. The next day, we were getting ready to leave from Tokyo.
“I was sitting on my bed, bags packed, on my phone, and then Tama texted me, ‘Did you see the internet?’ ‘I don’t want to see the internet right now.’ ‘Just open it real quick.’ I look at it and my notifications are blowing up and I’m like, ‘Damn, did I do too much and tell somebody? What the hell is coming on.’ [Fightful] reporting it just added more wager to the match itself and kept everyone guessing what was going to happen.”
Hikuleo On Talks With WWE Breaking Down
Hikuleo continued by noting that communication and other factors led to the talks stalling. He stated that the timing was not right, and he does not know whether the right time will come. Hikuleo also expressed that he is where he is supposed to be.
“Just the communication and a lot of factors,” Hikuleo said. “We were weighing it out and we talked about it for a while too. It was a lot of things. It wasn’t quite the right time. Not sure there will ever be a right time.
“It was a lot of factors at that time didn’t play out how we thought it would. There is loyalty, there is trust you build with New Japan or any company and you don’t want to break that off and just jump right now when something seems good. It just fell through and we’re where we are supposed to be.”
Hikuleo then described how NJPW has had faith in him, and they have been helpful to his family. He noted that, with those factors in mind, he can’t be quick to make decisions based on money right away.
The full video can be seen below:
Hikuleo Hikuleo and El Phantasmo will defend the NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championships at NJPW Lonestar Shootout on November 10. WrestleZone will have coverage of the show as it airs on November 10.