Manabu Nakanishi Retirement Event preview

Manabu Nakanishi ends his 27 year career February 22 in Korakuen.

On February 22, Manabu Nakanishi ends his career. From epic matches against the biggest and best names in combat sports to the entertainment and fun of the Monster Morning, he will be sorely missed in NJPW rings. Our February 22 event will be headlined with a special ceremony celebrating his fantastic career.

Main event- Manabu Nakanishi Retirement Match: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs Hirooki Goto, Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada

For Nakanishi’s final bout, four of the best of the Third Generation in NJPW will take on four of the greatest of the current generation. Nearly 11 years ago in Korakuen Hall, Manabu Nakanishi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to finally lift the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the one and only time. It’s these interactions that Nakanishi is likely most looking forward to, and he’ll look to end his retirement on a high, after an incredible winning streak in all his recent matches.

Yet for Tanahashi and Ibushi, looking to send Nakanishi off on a positive note, a sour taste in the mouth. Last night in Korakuen, they lifted IWGP Tag Team Championship gold for the first time together, a High Fly Flow from Tanahashi sealing the deal for Golden☆Ace over GoD. Yet moments later they were laid out by Dangerous Tekkers, who instantly declared themselves next in line. They have to put last night’s events behind them for the Yajin’s benefit. 


5th Match: CHAOS (Will Ospreay, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (EVIL, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)

A wild CHAOS vs LIJ bout takes our semi-main spot tonight. Ishii once again meets a pair of opponents he’s gotten to know very well of late, after defeating EVIL in Sapporo earlier in the month, and taking on Shingo for the NEVER Openweight Championship just two days prior. Fallout from that title clash will definitely still be in the air tonight, but LIJ will strike confident form. Shingo retained against Ishii on Thursday, and he, EVIL and BUSHI finally reunited with the six man belts Yano stole on Friday. That was then, however, and this is now as the battle for power never ends in NJPW. 

4th Match: Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs BULLET CLUB (Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale & jay White)

Perhaps FinJuice were looking forward to GoD retaining their IWGP Tag Team Championships last night, despite their respect for challengers Tanahashi and Ibushi. They could after all, have used this bout to try and score a win over Tonga or Loa that would help their future championship aspirations. Instead, Golden ☆ Ace are the tag team champions, and furthermore, Dangerous Tekkers have jumped to the front of the line with their brutal post main event assault. Still stinging from the cane shot to Juice and belt to the head to Finlay that cost them the tag titles in Atlanta, for now revenge is foremost in the former champs’ minds.

3rd Match: SHO, YOH & Toa Henare vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA)

SHO and YOH might be IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions, but they’ve made it very clear that they could and want to be singles champions as well. Hiromu Takahashi is IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but has made it clear he and BUSHI could easily become tag champions. A chance for a statement to be made one way or another here, then, as well as a chance for Henare to step up in a big way against a SANADA in danger of falling into a slump after losing to Jay White in Osaka. 


2nd Match: Rocky Romero, Ryusuke Taguchi, Colt Cabana & Toru Yano vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, Taichi & Minoru Suzuki)

After two title matches in two days for Taguchi and crew, one side of this match could have had both the IWGP Junior Tag and NEVER 6-Man Championships. That’s not the case, despite best efforts both legitimate and otherwise. As they attempt to bounce back however, Taichi will be on a high, after he and Zack Sabre Junior laid out the new IWGP Tag Team Champions Tanahashi and Ibushi after the main event last night. ZSJ is not in this match, but he might be lurking around any corner…

1st Match: Gabriel Kidd & Tiger Mask vs Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji

The evening kicks off with Gabriel Kidd and Tiger Mask again teaming up against Uemura and Tsuji. as Tiger Mask has harsh lessons to pass on to Uemura, a big step in the learning journey for the three Young Lions involved here.