Katsuya Kitamura is out of New Japan.
The company posted an article on their website this morning saying that Kitamura has left New Japan Pro Wrestling. He hasn’t wrestled since last March, teaming with Manabu Nakanishi in a losing effort against Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano.
There has been speculation regarding why Kitamura has been out of action for so long. According to Chris Charlton, he sustained an injury while training and has spent the last year taking medical treatment and rehabbing. After discussions with the company, however, he decided to leave.
It was reported recently in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Kitamura had been given a new contract to sign for 2019, but hadn’t signed it yet. It’s also been reported in the past that the injury is a crushed leg following a scooter accident.
Kitamura, who had an accomplished amateur wrestling background was that marred by a steroid ban started to wrestle regularly for NJPW in March of 2017. At 6'0 and 265 pounds, he dwarfed the other young lions and stood out due to his look and natural charisma.
He had been given somewhat of a push as a young lion, winning the 2017 Young Lion’s Cup just a few months prior to the injury.