WWE has announced the return of Shinsuke Nakamura.
The two-time NXT Champion hasn’t wrestled on WWE television since being defeated by Santos Escobar in the SmackDown World Cup on November 11th. In fact, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion hasn’t wrestled on the blue brand on a regular basis since August 2022.
Although Nakamura has wrestled twice at WWE live events, (albeit back in January) his most high-profile match of the year came for Pro-Wrestling NOAH. At the promotion’s new year special, the star took on The Great Muta as part of his retirement tour.
However, on the April 7th episode of SmackDown, WWE announced that the star will be featuring in Lincoln, Nebraska on April 14th.
It had been reported that heading into WrestleMania 39, plans for Nakamura were “on hold” until after the event.
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Ahead of SmackDown, it was announced that Triple H would be appearing on the show following his speech on Raw days earlier. On that occasion, The Game paid tribute to everyone who played a part in producing Wrestlemania 39 before commenting on WWE’s merger with UFC.
Although the star didn’t discuss the deal explicitly, he told fans that nothing would be changing in WWE in the future.
On the blue brand, Triple H again paid tribute to WrestleMania before revealing there will be a Draft in a “few weeks.” WWE’s Chief Content Officer said that “every Superstar” would be involved and it would “change the game.”
However, the WWE Hall of Famer stopped short of revealing the date of the event.