Report: NOAH Had AEW Concerns When Booking Shinsuke Nakamura Vs. Great Muta

Details on how AEW factored into the booking process of Nakamura vs. Muta in Pro Wrestling NOAH.

tony khan great muta shinsuke nakamura

All Elite Wrestling factored into the booking process for The Great Muta vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, reports Wrestling Inc.'s Dominic DeAngelo.

Former WCW manager Sonny Onoo served as a facilitator in getting the deal done. As announced last weekend, Pro Wrestling NOAH's 1 January 'The New Year 2023' event will host WWE star Nakamura's crossover as part of Muta's retirement tour, marking a break in tradition from the typically isolationist market leaders.

At one point, WWE's creative lead, Paul 'Triple H' Levesque, reached out to NOAH to ensure the opportunity was still available. NOAH then contacted Onoo, who stated the CyberFight-owned promotion sought to protect its growing relationship with AEW:-

"NOAH wanted to protect the newly developing relationship with AEW. "I made sure they were no objections from various promotions."

AEW and NOAH's collaboration manifested at September's Grand Slam special, where Muta aligned with Sting on AEW television. Sting is now set to team with his legendary rival at the 'Great Meta Final Bye-Bye' show on 22 January.

Onoo told Wrestling Inc. that teaming with Sting was among Muta's requests for the last show of his long career:-

"Sting joining together on Muta's last event was a wish of Muta. I'm glad I could help make it possible!"

Earlier this week, Tokyo Sports reported that Nakamura vs. Muta initially encountered resistance in WWE, though negotiations continued following Vince McMahon's resignation as Chairman and CEO in July. Finally, the deal was agreed upon on 26 October.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.