Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE
Shinsuke Nakamura backstage during the 2023 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. WWE


  • Shinsuke Nakamura is rumored to be making his return to SmackDown "very soon"
  • Nakamura shared the ring with The Great Muta during the latter's farewell tour
  • While Nakamura was spotted at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, his in-ring return is heavily anticipated

WWE has recently entered the next cycle of their pro wrestling calendar following a widely viewed WrestleMania 39 this past weekend, and fans can expect to see the first glimpse of Shinsuke Nakamura very soon.

The news comes from Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider Elite and while he did not provide any other substantial update on the Japanese star other than "a matter of weeks," it is more than enough for fans of the "King of Strong Style."

Nakamura's last appearance on WWE programming came on the November 11, 2022 episode of SmackDown when he was pinned by Legado Del Fantasma and re-formed Latino World Order member Santos Escobar in a pinfall loss.

According to the Internet Wrestling Database, Nakamura has actually been working house shows for WWE and his most recent appearance was on January 22 where he, alongside Braun Strowman and Madcaap Moss, picked up the win over Gunther, Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser of the Imperium faction.

However, Nakamura earned a massive feather on his cap when he faced pro wrestling legend The Great Mutoh (real name Keiji Muto) during his farewell tour to the industry at Pro Wrestling Noah's "Noah The New Year 2023" event on January 1 at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.

Muta, 60, would go toe-to-toe with Nakamura, 43, for the better part of 18 minutes as he did his greatest hits of moves including the iconic green mist, which he adopted from fellow Japanese legend The Great Kabuki, before falling to the latter via pinfall.

For added context, the man who helped popularize moves such as the shining wizard (running knee strike), moonsault, and the dragon screw leg whip held his last-ever match at age 60 on February 21 at Pro Wrestling Noah's "Keiji Muto Grand Final Pro-Wrestling 'Last' Love" event.

During his match with Muta, Nakamura took the green mist directly from Muta's mouth and sprayed it back at the icon to set up the finishing sequence.

Whether this translates to Nakamura using the mist in WWE is still up in the air, but the promotion can shake things up for his character as he joins Asuka in utilizing the move.

While Nakamura was present at the WWE Hall of Fame induction to help welcome Muta into it, WWE fans' long wait for him to return to action inside the squared circle could happen as soon as later tonight, which makes SmackDown a must-watch show every week for his biggest fans.

Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE
Shinsuke Nakamura during an Intercontinental Championship match against Gunther on the August 12, 2022 episode of SmackDown. WWE