Today, WWE is celebrating three separate birthdays all across social media. Throughout the day, the company has been showing their gratitude for the talents that have birthdays today. In the spirit of celebration, other talents have also shared their appreciation of these birthdays. These names are two of the most recognized talent in NXT history.
Making his name as one of the most popular stars who competed in New Japan Pro Wrestling in the last decade, headlining numerous Wrestle Kingdom events, Shinsuke Nakamura has exhibited the missing art of a larger-than-life character. With his rockstar entrance and captivating mannerisms, Nakamura is one of the most compelling names to watch in all of WWE and NXT. Debuting in 2016, Nakamura immediately made an impression after his match at NXT TakeOver: Dallas against Sami Zayn. For those who already knew the amazing talent Nakamura displays, it was not a surprise, but more of an affirmative nod. However, for those who were not aware of the Japanese sensation, they were quickly acquainted, and overall satisfied.
— No Way Jose (@WWENoWayJose) February 24, 2017
The rapid popularity of Nakamura immediately placed him in the championship picture, becoming the No. 1 contender to Samoa Joe’s NXT Championship. He defeated Joe to capture the title at TakeOver: Brooklyn II, before losing it at TakeOver: Toronto. However, he commenced his second reign by defeating Joe in Osaka, Japan, in December. He retained the title until TakeOver: San Antonio, losing it to Bobby Roode. After recoving from a knee injury, Nakamura looks to be the first ever three-time NXT Champion. Today, Nakamura celebrates his 37th birthday.
Corey Graves initially became notable while teaming with Neville, replacing his former partner, Oliver Grey. The team defeated the Wyatt Family to become the NXT Tag Team Champions, before being dethroned by The Ascension. Graves eventually turned on Neville after failing to regain the tag team titles. Graves returned from a concussion and feuded with Sami Zayn, even gaining a victory over him. However, he was forced to retire after a second concussion.
— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) February 24, 2017
Fortunately for Graves, as shown on the ESPN E:60 special, Triple H saw that he was a very valuable talent, and offered him a commentating position for the NXT brand. He was then dedicated to honing his color commentating skills, and went on to have one of the best pairings with Tom Phillips. During an interview on the Sam Roberts Podcast, Graves stated that NXT was a “cool alternative” to the WWE main roster programming, as the brand was just starting to take the show outside of Full Sail University with the test run being in Columbus, Ohio. Graves continued to hone his craft, and is now a color commentator on the main roster. Graves is celebrating his 33rd birthday.
The WWE executive staff made a very bold move in 2014 by launching the WWE Network. With hundreds hours of content from years of WWE, WCW, NWA, and ECW programming, WWE provided a platform for fans to relive their greatest wrestling moments and matches. Since then, other promotions such as World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), American Wrestling Association (AWA), Smokey Mountain Wrestling (SMW), and American Wrestling Association (AWA) have all been an on-demand option on the network.
— WWE (@WWE) February 24, 2017
In addition, original content such as the Stone Cold Podcast, Legends with JBL, The Edge and Christian Show, and Holy Foley! are available for viewing. Although the network has not reached a point of abundant success, it still gives fans an opportunity to enjoy footage from the glory days of professional wrestling, as well as going beyond the fourth wall with exclusive interviews.
[Featured Image by WWE]