Shinsuke Nakamura headed to Japan to defeat The Great Muta in a big match to start 2023.
It is a rare sight to see WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura wrestling in Japan on a show that wasn’t put on WWE, but that’s what happened at NOAH The New Year 2023. The event took place at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan on January 1st.
After having an incredible career in Japan as one of the best professional wrestlers in the history of Japanese wrestling, Shinsuke Nakamura jumped to WWE in 2016 along with AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Since then, Nakamura has accomplished a lot including multiple reigns as the Intercontinental Champion as well as a Royal Rumble winner.
Back in October 2022, it was announced that Nakamura was going to wrestle The Great Muta as part of Muta’s retirement turn it was a shocking announcement because WWE normally doesn’t allow their superstars on shows involving other wrestling promotions. However, they allowed it to happen because of the legacy of The Great Muta, who is retiring at the age of 60 after 39 years as a professional wrestler.
The finish of the match was very unique as Nakamura put his mouth up against Muta almost like a kiss of some kind of respect, but it was actually a way to extract the famous green mist from Muta. That led to Nakamura spitting the green mist into Muta’s face to blind him and Nakamura hit the Kinshasa running knee for the pinfall win.
— Pro Wrestling NOAH Global (@noahglobal) January 1, 2023
Post match, Nakamura thanked Muta and called him his idol. Nakamura also walked with Muta to the entrance area where they posed together as the pyro went off in the building to end the show.
The Great Mutoh will wrestle as Keiji Mutoh at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4 with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shota Umino vs. Tetsuya Natio, SANADA and BUSHI. After that, he’ll retire as The Great Muta on January 22nd when he teams with Sting & Darby Allin. There will be one final match as Keiji Mutoh on February 21st at the Tokyo Dome as well.
Nakamura’s full entrance for the match, complete with Lee England Jr. playing the violin, was uploaded to NOAH’s YouTube channel and can be viewed below.