When performers were first signed, they would come out of thin air, depart just as mysteriously when they were no longer needed, and had no lives outside of the company other than cameos on programs like Total Divas or Total Bellas. At that time, WWE was an island. Experiences outside of the organization were kept vague if they were acknowledged at all, and fans who weren’t knowledgeable about the industry weren’t the wiser. They effectively served as action figures in Vince McMahon’s toy chest.
Therefore, it was only natural that Shinsuke Nakamura, formerly known as “The King of Strong Style,” wasn’t overly optimistic about the prospects of accepting the spot because he never believed Mr. McMahon, who was in charge at the time, would approve it, when he was asked about taking part in one of The Great Muta/Keiji Muto’s final matches in Pro Wrestling Noah.
Fortunately, as Nakamura revealed in an interview with Yahoo Sports, that all changed when Paul “Triple H” Levesque was granted creative control of the company. He is now scheduled to travel back to Japan for a bout on New Year’s Day at Budokan Hall against one of his childhood heroes.
“I thought, “No way. I found it hard to believe. As reported by Fightful, Nakamura said, “I didn’t expect that would happen. It was something that the WWE’s old organizational structure would have never allowed to happen. I was approached by Noah with the proposal, and we talked it over, but I declined.
Since Vince (McMahon, the former chairman and CEO of WWE) retired in the summer, I was informed by insiders that it might be doing today. Even while I still believed it would be challenging, I spoke with WWE vice president Triple H directly. I was shocked when the choice was actually made.
“The WWE underwent a significant transformation from the time Mutoh announced his retirement and the match’s outcome. No one could believe Vince, who served as the embodiment of everything, was retiring. When the top moves, everything in America changes. There was a sense that many things will alter in the future at the moment. This was one of the shifts I experienced. I felt encouraged since “no” turned into “yes.”
2023 is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in WWE history, with even more potential opportunities still in store that haven’t even been thought of yet. With Nakamura going to Noah and “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson making his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling to defend his NEVER Openweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 17, 2023 is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in WWE history.
WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura is honored to be considered by The Great Muta.
When asked about being requested to work the match with one of his childhood heroes by Pro Wrestling Noah, Nakamura expressed surprise that Muta had made the request but was immensely thrilled to accept it.
“Surprise. We didn’t have a direct connection, Nakamura remarked through Fightful. “I lost each of our fights, and we had them twice. Shinsuke Nakamura is a professional wrestler, so I have no reason to think well of him. However, when I learned that he had chosen me to be one of his final opponents, I felt honored that he had remembered me. It’s fascinating to think back to the early years when I was a fan. I wish I had been told “you’re amazing” when I was younger.
He has always been a wrestler I look up to, but also a rival, ever since I started competing professionally. Since then, I have been educated in this manner. The idols of my youth, Great Muta and (Masahiro) Chono were rivals to me. They were against me, especially after I twice lost to Muto. I was young, and since I was young, I received a thorough beating. That, in my opinion, was our final opportunity to interact with him.
Nakamura is eager to take part in one of Muta’s final battles after witnessing the deaths or retirements of numerous international wrestling stars in 2022. For the Japanese professional wrestling legend, even a modest contribution to Muta’s legacy would be a dream come true.
The condition just cannot exist, according to Nakamura. All things are unique. You know, a lot of folks retired or passed away this year. This match against Great Muta somehow happened in the midst of shifting times. In every sense, the match is unique. Naturally, I find it noteworthy that I am engaged in combat with Great Muta.
Even though it might not be his final match, I’m honored that he picked me as one of his final opponents. “Special” is insufficient for this match, but it is a miracle in the generational divide.
Though Nakamura has turned down leaving WWE on multiple occasions, with his most recent extension coming in 2019when AEW was actively looking to fill out their roster with big-name talents, it’s nice to see “The King of Strong Style” return to his roots, (hopefully) return to the style that made him a stay, and return to Japan for a huge match at Budokan.