Manabu Nakanishi Announces He Will Retire On February 22nd

After a 27-year career

At Wrestle Kingdom 14, Manabu Nakanishi teamed with Yuji Nagata in a losing effort against Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan. After the match, Nakanishi stood in the ring alone and waved to the crowd.

At a post-Wrestle Kingdom press conference, Yajin announced he would be calling time on his 27-year career and retiring on February 22nd at a special event at Korakuen Hall. He noted that while his contract expires at the end of January, New Japan had agreed to extend it until the retirement show.

At the press conference, Nakanishi explained he was retiring because of a neck injury which has prevented him from wrestling at the level he has wanted to. He said: "I have decided to retire on February 22nd this year. As a result of a neck injury, I haven’t been able to wrestle to the level I wanted and rather than drag things out, I wanted to draw a line in the sand. Rather than think about how I could do x, y, z a long time ago, I want to put everything that I have into February 22nd. I want to head into this retirement having given everything I have and end things properly."

Nakanishi started his career in New Japan back in October 1992. As part of NJPW's third generation, Nakanishi won the 1999 G1 Climax and faced Keiji Mutoh at the Tokyo Dome in a losing effort. He did capture the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dissidence in May 2009, defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi. His only reign with the title ended 45 days later when Tanahashi defeated him to recapture the gold.

On June 4th 2011, Nakanishi suffered a neck injury after a German Suplex from Wataru Inoue. He was sidelined for over a year and since his return in October 2012, he has been an undercard wrestler, often competing in multi-man matches.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons