The announcement of Shinsuke Nakamura signing with WWE NXT was made Monday morning during a press conference in Japan. It was also announced on WWE.com immediately after Fastlane concluded last night.
While meeting with the Japanese press, Nakamura discussed his reasons for joining World Wrestling Entertainment, his debut at NXT Takeover: Dallas and much more. Here’s a photo from the historic press conference with Nakamura striking a pose. It looks like he’s having a fun time and is very happy.
The former IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion signing with NXT is news as, although he’s scheduled for a match at NXT Takeover: Dallas, it was rumored and half-expected that he’d come to the main roster right away. I see The King of Strong Style having an abbreviated stay at NXT (similar to Kevin Owens) as he’s just too good to not be on the main roster for too long.
With that said, during his time in NXT we should see some great matches with the likes of Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Austin Aries and more. Here’s Triple H’s comments on Nakamura’s signing and what it means to have a wrestler the caliber of Nakamura on the NXT roster.
“Talent is the lifeblood of our company, and the signing of Shinsuke Nakamura further demonstrates NXT’s commitment to bringing in the best talent from all over the world. His explosive style will make an immediate impact to an already dynamic NXT men’s division.”
Nakamura’s signing occurred during his busy visit to the United States. He visited WWE World Headquarters in Stanford, Connecticut and the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. You can check out these visits as well as Nakamura meeting Vince McMahon and Triple H, and hearing Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Kevin Owens’s thoughts on this historic signing.
— AJ Styles (@AJStylesOrg) February 22, 2016
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) February 22, 2016
Mark’s reaction: I immediately watched the video above four times upon seeing it pop up in my newsfeed. I’m such a big fan of Nakamura’s and it still feels unreal seeing him in the WWE landscape.
Hearing Shinsuke speak English in this video grabbed my attention big time. Although I’ve heard Jim Ross mention on his podcast that Nakamura speaks English very well, I’ve never actually heard him speak it before. This was the first time and he sounds great.
Another cool moment in the video for me is when Nakamura is shown the Performance Center via the big flat screen for the first time and his expression. I always hear how whenever WWE signs someone, even the most grizzled of veterans like Styles or Aries, they’re always blown away when seeing the Performance Center for the first time. Due to its sheer size and all the facilities it offers it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. It was cool seeing Shinsuke smile and awe at the site of the Performance Center and how huge it is.
Balor delivered some great advice to Shinsuke, as he mentioned at the end of the video, in telling him to be himself. There’s a reason why Nakamura’s as big of star as he is, there’s a reason why WWE signed him in the first place and it’s because of his reputation and the character/wrestler he’s built for himself throughout his 14-year career. He’s so talented, whether it comes to in-ring work or charisma, that it would be a shame if he held anything back or thought he needed to be something different in WWE. He doesn’t need to change a thing. To paraphrase Kevin Owens’ comments from the video above, I couldn’t be more excited as a fan.
Pictures used above are courtesy of WWE.com.