One of the big draws for Ring of Honor (ROH)'s next pay-per-view (PPV), February's 14th Anniversary, is appearances from New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) stars.
The latest sign of the strengthening of the patnership between the two companies, the Las Vegas show was advertising six New Japan wrestlers for the Friday night card. As you may have heard last night, one of those guys - former IWGP Intercontinental champ Shinsuke Nakamura - just inked a deal with Triple H to join WWE and (at least initially) their NXT brand.
As such, ROH was forced to make the following announcement:
Many Ring of Honor fans were looking forward to "The King of Strong Style" SHINSUKE NAKAMURA appearing throughout Ring of Honor's 14th Anniversary Weekend. It is with great regret that we must inform our fans that Nakamura will no longer be competing the weekend of ROH's 14th Anniversary.
While Nakamura is unable to compete, a New Japan Pro Wrestling star has already signed to take "The King of Strong Style's" place! Will it be a star making his first journey to the US? Will it be a star returning to ROH? Keep your browsers locked on ROHWrestling.com in the coming days to see which New Japan star will be replacing Nakamura in Sin City!
IWGP World champ Kazuchika Okada and his manager Gedo are still making the trip stateside along with Hiroshi Tanahasi (assuming his reported shoulder injury is addressed and healed by then), Junior Heavyweight champ KUSHIDA and Tomohiro Ishii. It's expected NJPW will send another star to make-up for the lack of Nakamura.
The Feb. 26 show will be headlined by a Triple Threat for the ROH World title, with Jay Lethal defending against both Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly.