Former WWE Superstar Spotted With Shinsuke Nakamura In Japan

WWE star Shinsuke Nakamura took a trip back home to Japan to compete outside of WWE for the first time since 2016. His match against The Great Muta at Noah The New Year 2023 event on January 1 saw "The King of Strong Style" walk away victorious, though not without some controversy coming out of the match. Nonetheless, fans got a rare opportunity to see one of the country's biggest stars of the 2000s and 2010s compete in Japan against a legend who is on the road to retirement.

Nakamura also got to meet with some old friends on his trip back to Japan, including former WWE star and current IWGP Women's Champion, KAIRI. The "Pirate Princess" posted pictures of herself and Nakamura on social media on New Year's Day ahead of his bout against Muta. The pictures draw similarities to an old photo the two took in 2018, where the then-United States Champion had a similar expression when posing next to KAIRI, who was then enjoying her reign as NXT Women's Champion.

While Nakamura's appearance in NOAH was just a one-off, KAIRI will continue to entertain Japanese fans moving forward. Following the end of her WWE run back in 2020, the former Kabuki Warrior made her return to STARDOM in early 2022. Since then, KAIRI has gone undefeated in the company, and on November 20, she became the inaugural IWGP Women's Champion for NJPW, STARDOM's sibling promotion, when she defeated Mayu Iwatani in the main event of Historic X-Over.

KAIRI is set to defend the IWGP Women's Championship for the first time at Wrestle Kingdom 17 against Tam Nakano, an event where former WWE star Sasha Banks is rumored to appear.