Kazuchika Okada is working through two slipped discs in his lower back.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Okada has largely been kept out of the main event/Heavyweight title scene due to the injury.
“The reason Kazuchika Okada has been largely kept out of the title and main event scene, and worked more basic in his matches the last several months is that he’s working with two slipped discs in his lower back,” Meltzer wrote. “It’s legitimately crippling, which is why he takes it easy when he’s in prelims but when he’s in a main event, he still delivers like in the match with Evil this past week, and I’d bet with Shingo Takagi this coming week. But backstage, he’s hurting bad.”
Okada has spent much time outside of the main event scene in the last year. He was the one that proposed the King of Pro Wrestling title last summer, and competed in the inaugural match for the provisional title. That was won by Toru Yano, who ended up winning the championship at the end of the year.
The next big match for Okada will be on March 6, when he faces Shingo Takagi in the opening round of the New Japan Cup.