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Shinsuke Nakamura will face The Great Muta in NOAH: ‘THE NEW YEAR 2023’

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Pro Wrestling NOAH announced this morning the next rival in the retirement tour of Keiji Mutoh: WWE wrestler, Shinsuke Nakamura. NOAH has confirmed through a video that Nakamura will face The Great Muta next January 1, 2023 from the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, in the show “THE NEW YEAR 2023”.

Nakamura had a few words in the promotional video: “Is this a dream or an illusion? It is true, on January 1, 2023 at the Nippon Budokan, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The Great Muta. I don’t need to say anything more, this is a miracle“. This will be Nakamura’s first fight in Japan in a company outside of WWE since January 30, 2016when he competed in his NJPW farewell match to join the sports-entertainment company.

The last time WWE made a similar move, loaning out a talent for a guest appearance in Japan, was on September 1, 2018, when KENTA (at that time Hideo Itami) faced Naomichi Marufuji at NOAH’s event for the 20th anniversary of Marufuji’s career, FLIGHT.

In the meantime, Keiji Mutoh will continue to work as himself and as his character, The Great Muta.in several shows before his last fight, scheduled for February 21, 2023. In the event NOAH is holding today, “Ariake Triumph – THE RETURN” has faced Naomichi Marufuji and Yoshiki Inamura against the New Japan team formed by Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.

In addition, he has recently confirmed more appearances in NJPW, announcing that will fight at HISTORIC X-OVER on November 20 alongside Kazuchika Okada and Toru Yano, facing the United Empire team made up of Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb and Aaron Henare. Furthermore, it was confirmed that Sting will be participating in Great Muta’s last encountersaying goodbye to the famous character with one last team match for January 22.

Finally, Mutoh has received an invitation from Tanahashi to participate in WRESTLE KINGDOM 17but the veteran fighter has not yet accepted the proposal.

Then we leave you with the list of events and confirmed fights on his retirement tour:


  • NJPW – HISTORIC X-OVER, November 29, 2022 from the Ariake Arena: The Great Muta, Kazuchika Okada and Toru Yano vs. United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb and Aaron Henare)

  • NOAH – THE NEW YEAR 2023, January 1, 2023 from the Nippon Budokan: The Great Muta vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

  • NOAH – GREAT MUTA FINAL BYE-BYE, January 22, 2023 from the Yokohama Arena: The Great Muta and Sting vs. Participants to be announced

  • NOAH – KEIJI MUTOH GRAND FINAL PRO-WRESTLING LAST LOVE – HOLD OUTFebruary 21 from Tokyo Dome: Participants to be announced

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