Shinsuke Nakamura hasn’t wrestled on WWE television since the November 11th episode of SmackDown.
On that occasion, the two-time NXT Champion was defeated by Santos Escobar in the SmackDown World Cup. In fact, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion hasn’t wrestled on the blue brand on a regular basis since August 2022.
With the star set to miss WrestleMania 39, fans have begun to ask questions about his future plans. Nakamura starred in NXT under the guidance of Triple H, so naturally many expected him to have a significant role once The Game took control of creative on the main roster.
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that plans for the star are currently “on hold” until after WrestleMania.
Nakamura’s Biggest Match Of 2023 Came Outside Of WWE
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.
Speaking in December, Nakamura revealed that the original pitch for the match was made while Vince McMahon was still in charge of WWE creative, and was quickly rejected. However, once Triple H assumed creative control, a deal was made.
It is believed that part of this deal is the reason why The Great Muta, real name Keiji Muto, is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2023.