As previously noted, Pro Wrestling NOAH announced on Sunday morning that WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura will have a match against The Great Muta at The New Year 2023 event on January 1st 2023.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports [translated from Japanese], Nakamura commented on the match being approved by WWE…
“I was like, “No way. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think it would happen. It was something that would never have happened under the previous structure of the WWE. Noah came to me with the idea, and we discussed it, but my answer was no. Vince (McMahon, Chairman and CEO of WWE) stepped down in the summer, and I was advised by people within the company that it might be possible now. I still thought it would be difficult, but I even talked directly to Triple H (WWE’s vice president). When the decision was actually made, I was shaken.”
“There was a big change in the WWE between when Mutoh announced his retirement and when the match was decided. Vince, who was the symbol of everything, was retiring, and that was something that no one could believe. Everything changes in America when the top changes. At that time, there was a feeling that many things would change in the future. One of the changes that occurred to me was this. The fact that ‘no’ became ‘yes’ gave me a boost.”