Ever since coming to the WWE at NXT Takeover: The End, Shinsuke Nakamura has lit the wrestling world on fire with his enigmatic style and innovative offense. The WWE has never seen a wrestler like him before. He combines his rare athletic ability with the creativity of an artist in the squared circle. To top it all off, the WWE Universe sings his entrance music on his way to the ring. Even after all of that, he had one of the best debut matches in WWE history against Sami Zayn.
Nakamura has a knack for finding himself pitted against big opponents. Finn Balor was his most recent opponent that made an impact on WWE NXT. It was Balor’s swan song on the brand he helped make world famous. Those two had, to quote Jim Ross, a slobberknocker of a match. Now, the former New Japan Pro Wrestling phenom is on his way to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn to face Samoa Joe for the NXT championship. They certainly won’t disappoint.
Without Balor, he’s the man of WWE NXT along with Joe, who is the current NXT champion. They will have a lot to live up to given the circumstances. Bayley and Sasha Bank set the bar high after last year’s five-star performance. Not many would rate it that high, but those two put on one of the best women’s matches in WWE history. Nakamura will look to keep his reputation high and do the same with Joe in late August.
It’s never been said before as to why Shinsuke Nakamura made the jump from New Japan Pro Wrestling to WWE. He hasn’t been silent, but rather he just didn’t give a reason. In a great interview on Talk Is Jericho, Nakamura opened up about his journey and why he came to the WWE.
“Oh, WWE called me. In , ‘hey when your contract is finished, maybe end of this year, how about next year? Do you want to wrestle here?’…. Finally I decided in August of 2015 that I have to go to United States. I have to try.
“We haven’t had a real Japanese star in many, many years – I mean Tajiri was good and Funaki was good – but a real, like a Great Muta…
“The internet situation changed in 10 years. Now YouTube, live streams… if AJ and me wrestle, me and Kota Ibushi soon, over the world everybody can see. That situation helped me to come here, I think.”
Right before the WWE Draft, it was rumored heavily that Nakamura would make the jump the main roster rather quickly. However, in a report by the Inquisitr, updated plans for Nakamura didn’t show a WWE main roster jump until after he holds the NXT championship. That ultimately begs the question: Is Joe going to lose his NXT title at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn? That’s not been reported as of yet. Look for Joe to retain his belt.
A quick jump to the main roster just wouldn’t make sense. Sure, he’s one of the most-over wrestlers on WWE NXT, but only a little over one million people have the WWE Network. Around three million watch WWE Raw and SmackDown Live. That’s only a third of the audience, and that’s not even guaranteed. Nakamura still needs time to get acclimated to the audience on a big level.
If Sami Zayn’s match with Shinsuke Nakamura wasn’t enough to be impressed with the Japanese star, his bout with Balor solidified it.
He’s a rising star in the WWE and presumably a future WWE World Heavyweight champion. WWE fans haven’t seen anything like him before, which is a good thing. Different is good in professional wrestling. There will be another meeting between Nakamura and Joe in the coming weeks on NXT TV, so watch out for that interaction.
[Image via WWE.com]