Exclusive Coverage Of The Great Muta Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Photos)


Happy New Year all! Today, I have exclusive coverage from Japan by Tokio Tsukada, who was on hand to witness the historic event between The Great Muta & Shinsuke Nakamura in person.

This also includes the press conference. It was sent to us before the match took place, so please respect that the first portion will read like it hasn’t happened yet. We have tons of photos to share with you as well! I hope you enjoy. As always, Tokio Tsukada wrote about his experience, and I edited his text to make it read better in English. Thank you.

The Great Muta & Shinsuke Nakamura

Photo & Text by Tokio Tsukada. Edited by Kyle Dunning.


January 1, 2023 With Great Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura coming up, they held a press conference at the Tokyo Dome Hotel on December 30, 2023. Keiji Muto, also known as Great Muta, is scheduled to retire officially on February 21, 2023, and his match against Shinsuke Nakamura will be a great lead up to that.

Muto and Shinsuke Nakamura both debuted in Shin-Japan Pro Wrestling, and are superstars of Japan and the United States, although they are of different generations. Nakamura, in particular, came to Japan during a tight schedule at WWE in the US. They held the press conference between the two sides in a friendly atmosphere from beginning to end, respecting each other. At the very beginning, Muto saw the Great Muta embroidered on the jumper that Nakamura was wearing, and there was a scene where Nakamura laughed out loud, Muto’s saying, “I’m going to charge you for a licensing fee for embroider of mine without permission.”

The following is an excerpt from their comments.

MUTO Keiji

“First of all, SHINSUKE NAKAMURA, thank you for coming to Japan on January 1st to play at Japan Budokan with the tight schedule in the United States. In my opinion, both Great Muta and SHINSUKE NAKAMURA grew up in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and strong style, even though they are different eras, and this worldview that they cultivated by jumping out there and going out to the ocean and being exposed to rough waves, this fight is a clash of this worldview.

I have a feeling that it will be the best battle of art that other wrestlers cannot draw. Great Muta has been around for over thirty years, but in the past he has fought against Antonio Inoki, Hulk Hogan, Sting, (Ric) Flair, (Stone Cold) Steve Austin and the world’s top players. We are very pleased that the name of SHINSUKE NAKAMURA will be engraved on the page of its history. On the day of the event, Keiji Muto will blast the Great Muta, so thank you.”


“First, I would like to thank Muto, Pro Wrestling Noah, and WWE for making this match possible. Thank you. And now, each and every word that Muto said could not be more honorable. I still feel like I’m in a dream. This impossible situation, or rather, 2022, will be decided in this era of fierce battle, and we will realize it on January 1, 2023, New Year’s Day. I’m still trembling, I’m soaking, seriously. So I don’t know what it is. It’s not just about looking forward to it, but I’m very excited right now that I want to savor this divine situation.”

A few days later, on New Year’s Day, Japanese and American superstars competed in a miraculous match at the Japan Budokan. We can’t take our eyes off the beginning of 2023.

New Year 2023 presents a miracle – Japan-U.S. Superstar Showdown Conquered Poison with Poison

Great Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura

WWE Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura took time out of his tight schedule in the U.S. to come to Japan with a flurry of excitement. His opponent was the Great Muta, aka Keiji Muto, who is scheduled to retire next month. Shinsuke Nakamura was an avid pro wrestling fan, and the Great Muta was his idol when he was a child. Although the eras are different, these two men were the leading aces of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

The Great Muta, who has made his name in WCW in the U.S., and Shinsuke Nakamura, the first Japanese superstar to win the WWE Royal Rumble. This miraculous match, which American fans have been eagerly awaiting, was realized on the mat of Pro Wrestling Noah at the Nippon Budokan It was packed to capacity on New Year’s Day night.

Not only in the U.S., but the entire world will watch this first dream card. It was realized as a special match in the double main event of an 11 matches line up. Shinsuke Nakamura surprised fans by shedding his white costume and donning a red-and-black striped ring costume. Great Muta, a great actor of a thousand, let out a green mist and a flurry of fire.

After a slow and deliberate ground wrestling session, Muta had Shinsuke Nakamura on the ropes with a shining wizard, dragon screw, and figure-four leg lock; Shinsuke Nakamura also attacked Muta with his signature Kinshasa, and then with a flying reverse cross arm lock. Great Muta hit with a momentary poisonous green mist that changed the match. Muta took control of the match with a chair attack and a figure-four leg lock.

After Muta’s red mist sprayed to Shinsuke Nakamura, whose face looked as if it was bleeding from the bright red poison mist. Finally, Shinsuke Nakamura took advantage of a momentary lapse in the flow of poison mist that he had sucked out of Muta’s mouth, and fired it at Muta. Muta could not keep pace with the unexpected counterattack, and Nakamura finished off Muta with his signature Kinshasa.

Shinsuke Nakamura pinned Muta, and the referee declared Nakamura the winner. Muta, the loser, pulled out of the ring on the main event, highlighting the winners and the losers. But there was a worldview and art that only these two men, who have achieved great success in the U.S., could express. At the end, both superstars stood shoulder to shoulder. Backstage, Nakamura said, “I couldn’t have put together a card like this without God.”

The expression on his satisfied face seems that the Great Muta is an eternal idol to Nakamura. This miraculous match between Japanese and American superstars has kept fans glued to the ring since New Year’s Day, showing a view of the world that no other wrestler can imitate.

In the GHC Heavyweight Title match, which was held as a double main event, the champion, Kaito Kiyomiya, defeated the challenger, Ken-Oh. For the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title, Yoshinari Ogawa and Eita defeated champions YO-HEY and Kzy to become the new champions.

In the GHC Tag Team Title match, Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima defended their titles against Naomichi Marufuji and Kenta; in the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title match, AMAKUSA defended for the first time against Junta Miyawaki. Ninja Mack took part in the third match of the six-man tag team match. To the delight of the packed house, he showed even more acrobatic moves than last time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this exclusive coverage of The Great Muta vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Please enjoy this large gallery of the event. Have a Happy New Year!

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