Absent Smackdown Star To Return To TV “Soon”

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A former Intercontinental Champion on the WWE Smackdown brand is expected to return to television very soon, according to a new report.

The last time Shinsuke Nakamura had a televised match on WWE television was on the November 11, 2022 edition of Smackdown when he lost a World Cup match to Santos Escobar.

Other than that loss to Escobar, Nakamura worked a lot of live events in December 2022 and a few in January 2023, but other than that he has been off. It’s unknown if he had an injury of any kind that caused his lengthy absence or perhaps WWE simply wanted to give him a break.

According to a new report from PWInsider Elite, Nakamura is expected to return to the Smackdown brand soon. Nakamura was at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony last Friday.

Another man at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony last Friday was The Great Muta, who was inducted into the WWE HOF by Ric Flair. The last match that Nakamura had that was televised was at the NOAH show on January 1 which was part of Muta’s retirement tour to start 2023. Nakamura beat Muta in that match.

Following an incredible career in Japan, Shinsuke Nakamura signed with WWE in 2016. His first NXT match with Sami Zayn in 2016 was arguably his best WWE match and something many considered a match of the year.

Since then, Nakamura has accomplished a lot in WWE as a two-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time United States Champion, a Smackdown Tag Team Champion, a two-time NXT Champion and he won the 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble match.

In 2021 and into 2022, Nakamura was often paired with the energetic Rick Boogs, who plays the guitar to enhance Nakamura’s electrifying entrance. Since Boogs is on Raw now, it will be interesting to see if WWE puts the pair back together or keeps them apart whenever Nakamura returns.