A number of wrestler’s have announced they are retiring in 2023. Every year sees us lose more and more stars of the past, with hopes that the next generation can replicate their huge impact on the world of wrestling.
It’s always sad to see your childhood favourite hang up their boots. Seeing their last match is a bittersweet experience – happy they can finally leave the business and enjoy their retirement, but selfishly wanting to watch them wrestle again (no, not you Ric Flair).
Here is every wrestler who is retiring in 2023, featuring some of the biggest legends in the history of the business.
Announced in 2022, this year will be the last for the legendary Japanese Superstar Keiji Mutoh. Known by either that name or The Great Muta, he made history by being one of the top stars in three different wrestling companies – NJPW, NOAH and AJPW. He also starred in WCW, being great friends and rivals with fellow retiree Sting during the 1990s.
Mutoh announced his retirement in May 2022, kicking off a retirement tour that could rival any that has come before. He appeared for Pro-Wrestling NOAH, wrestled in Mexico, helped his old friend Sting in AEW and even wrestling in the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 17. Most shockingly, he even wrestled against a WWE Superstar, battling Shinsuke Nakamura is NOAH in January 2022.
Keiji Muto (The Great Muta) will have his last match on February 21, 2023 when Pro Wrestling NOAH returns to the Tokyo Dome for the first time since 2015. His last match will be The Great Muta, Sting, & Darby Allin vs. Hakushi, AKIRA, & Naomichi Marufuji.
2020 marked the fifth decade that Dustin Rhodes wrestled in, but he won’t make it to his fifth. The son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes has announced that 2023 will be the final year of his career as he looks to slow down and become a wrestling trainer full time.
Rhodes was a huge get for AEW in the early years of the promotion. In the very first show, he wrestled his brother Cody Rhodes in a singles match, putting on one of the best matches of all time. Their bout at Double or Nothing 2019 was given five stars by Dave Meltzer and is considered to this day to be one of AEW’s best matches in their short history.
He has wrestled semi-regularly in recent years, focusing more on training the future stars of tomorrow at the Rhodes wrestling academy. He also revealed that he wanted to retire now so he could leave on his own terms, and not forced into retirement as many stars, like Edge or Sting, were in their career.
At 63 years of age, nobody expected Sting to still be wrestling in 2023. That fact he is retiring this year shows just how much of a legend he is to still be wrestling at the top tier in a major promotion whilst also holding a free bus pass.
The former WCW Champion was actually forced to retire in 2015 after a match with Seth Rollins went awry. He suffered a neck injury in their match at Night of Champions 2015, during a match for the WWE Championship. The injury was so severe he was forced to retire and soon accepted a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
However, he realised that his neck had healed and by 2020 was itching to come back. Sting debuted in AEW in 2020, coming to the aide of Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin and entering into a feud with Team Taz. He went on to wrestle multiple tag team matches in the promotion, with his tag team with Darby Allin remaining undefeated in their entire career together.
In an interview with The Ringer, Sting revealed he was going to retire from wrestling in 2023, but conceded that he wouldn’t be wrestling Darby Allin in his final match.
“Well, I know Darby is going to be a part of it for sure. I won’t have a singles match at this point. Darby will be along with me and I’ll be along with him and we can add more to it as far as I’m concerned. But I have a few people [in mind] and I really don’t want to say now.”
He will take part in The Great Muta (Keiji Mutoh’s) last match in 2023, teaming with Mutoh and Darby Allin to take on Hakushi, AKIRA, & Naomichi Marufuji in Pro-Wrestling NOAH
Former NXT UK star Jinny recently announced her retirement from professional wrestling. She revealed her intention to retire from wrestling on Saturday 14th January, in an emotional social media post.
It has been over a year since she last wrestled a match, struggle with incessant injuries that have not let her reach her full potential. She hasn’t wrestled in over a year due to injuries, so retirement seems like the right thing for her to do.
She was a big star on the UK wrestling scene before being signed to NXT UK in 2018. She held the PROGRESS Wrestling Women’s Championship twice and Revolution Pro Wrestling’s Undisputed British Women’s Championship once. Her character was nicknamed “The Fashionista” both on the indies and in NXT UK.
In her statement, Jinny Wrote;
“After a long time away due to an injury, I have made the decision to hang up my fashionable boots. Thank you for all the memories. I’ll remember that chapter for the rest of my life. Every journey has an end, but in life, every ending is just a new beginning. I’m excited about what’s next.”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.