Earlier this week Daniel Bryan revealed when he intends to retire (at the ripe old age of 70!) and now Shinsuke Nakamura has followed suit by setting the end date for his career.
However, unlike Bryan the 39-year-old does not intend to go for another 31 years. Instead, Nakamura says that he will hang up his boots in just over five years time.
Speaking with The Straits Times as part of the media promotion for WWE’s upcoming tour of Asia next month, Nakamura said:
“I want to wrestle at least five more years. I’m 39 now. Baseball player Ichiro Suzuki retired at 45 and he was such an influence for Japanese sportsmen, especially those who lived in other countries, and so I need to wrestle until I’m 45 years old.”
Nakamura has been with WWE for three years but his wrestling career began 17 years ago when he debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002.
Although Nakamura states that 45 is the age he wants to go out, this is actually quite young by Japanese wrestler standards.
Several top stars in AJPW and NJPW are beyond that age, most notably the immense Minoru Suzuki, who is at the peak of his game despite turning 51 later this month.
Elsewhere in Japan the likes of Jushin Liger, The Great Muta and Takashi Sugiura have all enjoyed great success beyond their 45th birthdays and are still going (relatively) strong today.
While Nakamura may intend to retire in five years, most likely after a final run with New Japan, we would not be surprised to see him stepping into the ring on occasion long beyond that.
Thanks to Fightful for the interview transcription