According to a previous report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, SmackDown Live superstar Shinsuke Nakamura’s contract will be expiring early next year. While he didn’t explicitly say whether he will be re-signing with WWE or not, the reigning United States Champion also didn’t completely eliminate a possible return to New Japan Pro Wrestling when he discussed the contract rumors in an interview with Sky Sports.
In the minute-long interview posted on the Sky Sports WWE Twitter account, Nakamura was asked a few questions about what the future might hold for him as a WWE superstar. When asked to comment on rumors that his WWE contract is only a short-term one, the “King of Strong Style” told Sky Sports‘ reporter that moving to the United States with his family was a “big decision,” as well as a long-term commitment for everyone involved. According to Cageside Seats, he also wasn’t contacted by NJPW for a potential return to the company where he first became a household name to wrestling fans.
While Shinsuke Nakamura seemed to shoot down the rumors of NJPW wanting to bring him back once his WWE contract expires, he also made some comments that suggested there’s a chance he might be headed elsewhere at some point in the future. As recapped by WrestlingNews.co, Nakamura said that he’ll “probably” wrestle a few more years in WWE, before making a “money” hand gesture that suggested the chances of his re-signing with the company will depend on whether he gets offered a large enough contract.
Prior to Shinsuke Nakamura’s Sky Sports interview, the 38-year-old Japanese standout was rumored to be one of several wrestlers whose contracts are scheduled to expire in the coming months. According to a late July report from Wrestling Inc., which cited remarks Dave Meltzer made on Wrestling Observer Radio, Nakamura, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson all signed three-year WWE contracts in 2016, with Styles and Nakamura’s contracts specifically scheduled to expire in January 2019. Meltzer added that NJPW has “absolute interest” in bringing Nakamura back, as his WWE stint has helped him become more of a household name in the wrestling business.
Since getting called up to the main roster in April 2017, Shinsuke Nakamura’s booking has largely been hit-or-miss, especially in the current year, as opined by Forbes. Despite starting out strongly by winning the Royal Rumble in January, Nakamura failed repeatedly to defeat Styles for the WWE Championship, even with a heel turn giving him a new role as one of SmackDown Live‘s top villains. He recently won his first main roster title by defeating Jeff Hardy for the United States Championship and is scheduled to defend it in a rematch against Hardy on Sunday at SummerSlam.
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