New Japan Pro Wrestling star Manabu Nakanishi announced in a press conference that due to a neck injury that’s stopped him from being able to wrestle to his full potential, he’s decided to retire. The 52-year old legend and former IWGP Heavyweight champion promises to give everything he has until his final date, which he revealed will be February 22nd.
I have decided to retire on February 22 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 22. I want to head into this retirement having given everything I have and end things properly.
I came here because I know that NJPW is the best, and that’s always been the case. Whoever they put in front of me, it’ll be the best match there is. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m focused on
Nakanishi made his NJPW debut back in 1992. Besides the world title, he’s also a three time IWGP tag team champion, won the prestigious Young Lions Cup in 1995 and G1 Climax tournament in 1999, and event held a brief stint in WCW. His contract actually comes to an end in January but NJPW has extended his time to give him a special farewell celebration at Korakuen Hall.
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)