Manabu Nakanishi will call it a career on Feb. 22 at a special event at Korakuen Hall.
Nakanishi announced his upcoming retirement during a press conference on Tuesday, citing a neck injury. Nakanishi suffered a spinal cord injury in 2011 that kept him out of the ring for 16 months. Upon returning, he remained an active competitor, working over 100 matches in 2015 and 2016. The 52-year-old teamed with Yuji Nagata in a loss to TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) in a dark match during night one of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Nakanishi is a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, three-time IWGP Tag Team Champion, and winner of the 1999 G1 Climax.
During the press conference, he noted that his contract is up at the end of January, but NJPW will extend his deal so he can retire on Feb. 22. An opponent has not been named for his final bout. Nakanishi stated he would like NJPW to put someone in front of him.
Nakanishi:— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 7, 2020
On February 22 2020 in Korakuen Hall, I will retire. Due to a neck injury I couldn't compete for a long time but I kept wrestling after that. I gave all I had and by that date on February 22 I plan to have put in all I have left. #njpw
Nakanishi: I worked hard to come back from my neck injury, but after that return... I have to take responsibility for the fact that I could never wrestle to the full extent that I wanted to. #njpw— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 7, 2020
Fightful will update fans on more details regarding Nakanishi's retirement event when they are known.