Manabu Nakanishi Talks Retirement, Says He Wanted To Go Out Swinging Until The End

As Manabu Nakanishi is just days away from wrapping up his lengthy career, he takes a look at whether or not this is the perfect time to do so. 

The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion spoke with Katsuhiko ‘GK’ Kanazawa in an interview with NJPW and talked about his impending retirement on February 22 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Nakanishi admitted that, at 53 years old, he had to draw a line in the sand and realize that he's not the same wrestler and performer that he once was and so, wanted to finish his career on his terms.

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"Well, like I said at the time, I haven’t been able to perform how I’d like, and I think it’s time to draw a line in the sand. I still can’t say as I’ve decided what to do after, but once the idea came to me, I figured that’s what I should do right away. End of the day, I think it’s the coolest way to go out for a pro-wrestler, swinging ’til the end," Nakanishi said.

Nakanishi joins Jushin Thunder Liger as notable NJPW wrestlers to retire in 2020, but Nakanishi notes that Liger's retirement had nothing to do with his own retirement.

"Nah, talking about Liger will just make me jealous! It’s a different situation, what with my injuries and such," Nakanishi said.

Nakanishi will team up with Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata to take on Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada in an eight-man tag team match to end his career on February 22. 

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