Report: WWE Interested In Signing ROH’s Jay Lethal & NJPW’s Shinsuke Nakamura

World Wrestling Entertainment has their sights set on two of professional wrestling’s hottest and most talented stars, Ring of Honor’s Jay Lethal and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Shinsuke Nakamura; this is according to a report by Dave Meltzer in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Jay Lethal is currently the ROH World Champion while Shinsuke Nakamura is the reigning NJPW Intercontinental Champion. Both Lethal and Nakamura’s existing contracts will be expiring soon. With NXT growing into its own brand, WWE has big plans to take the formerly Orlando restricted show on the road much more in 2016. They’re looking for some top independent talent to assist NXT along the way and it looks like Lethal and Nakamura are the two wrestlers they want to help lead that charge.

Mark’s reaction:

This is some pretty awesome news, I just hope that they are both allowed to wrestle their style of matches and don’t come to the WWE to just get buried. I don’t think that will be the case as they both would be carrying the NXT flag as the brand’s top stars. I also really hope the WWE doesn’t dial down Nakamura’s famous “strongstyle.” It seems like before NXT became its own brand, it would be the place where popular independent wrestlers would go and learn the WWE style of wrestling; a style of wrestling that is less stiff and more showmen. However, today’s NXT is much different than it was back then so I’m optimistic that the WWE will let Nakamura wrestle his style of match.

Jay Lethal is an incredible talent. I first remember watching him on TNA back in 2005. At the young age of 20, Jay would tear the house down in X-Division matches with the likes of Alex Shelley, Petey Williams, and Samoa Joe. It feels like I’ve been watching Jay wrestle for so long that whenever I hear he’s only 30 years old, it always makes me have to stop and think twice just because I naturally think he’s much older than he is haha. Lethal’s expressed interest in joining WWE before as he talked with Rolling Stone back in June saying how much of a fan he was of WWE when he was younger and if he was ever offered to work for them he’d have to consider it just so he can check it off his bucket list.

I do think that the WWE has plans to move both Lethal and Nakamura up to the main roster sometime after making their WWE debut. Like I said, Lethal’s only 30 years old and while Nakamura’s 35 years old, he has the charisma and the international flavor that the WWE is looking for. I only say this because there have been rumors that the WWE has zero interest in using Samoa Joe or James Storm on the main roster as they want to strictly use them to help grow the NXT brand. I don’t know how much I believe this rumor but it makes more sense to me because of their age (Joe’s 36 and Storm’s 38). Personally, I’d throw them both on the main roster right away but I could see how the WWE’s thinking in this situation.

Would you like to see Jay Lethal and Shinsuke Nakamura in the WWE? If so, would you like to see them on the main roster or in NXT where they can help grow the brand (with a rumored Austin Aries joining soon)? Keep the conversation going by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is available via subscription at