Since his debut in WWE’s NXT, Shinsuke Nakamura has been tearing up the promotion and introducing a whole slew of pro wrestling fans to what one of Japan’s best wrestlers has to offer here on the other side of the world.
During SummerSlam weekend, at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, Nakamura became the new NXT champion with a win over Samoa Joe in the main event.
“Joe is special,” Nakamura told Sports Illustrated. “He is a real wrestler. He knows the real techniques of how to beat an opponent. He uses an MMA technique, so it’s real fighting. Also, I know that technique, so that’s what we show in the ring when we wrestle.”
As happy as many were to see Nakamura rise to the top of NXT, many are also eager to see him on the WWE main roster.
As expected though, there is one significant issue in the way of that.
“I need to study English more,” Nakamura said. “I’ll start by watching Sesame Street every day.”
His English has been ever-improving while in NXT, but Nakamura knows the language barrier has not hindered the core of what he brings to NXT.
“Wrestling has its own culture. Every culture–Japan, Samoan, Indian, Korean–has wrestling, and wrestling is a worldwide mix.”
And when you learn of his major influences, it is not hard to see where Nakamura’s over-the-top charismatic character may have come from.
“My inspirations were ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and Andre the Giant,” said Nakamura. “It was easy to understand their character.”
And like any wrestler who makes it to the WWE, Nakamura is looking ahead to the biggest stage of them all, already with a clear opponent in mind as well.
“I’d like to fight at WrestleMania,” Nakamura said. “John Cena–that’s a great choice.”
Even though Nakamura went from New Japan Pro Wrestling to WWE, he hopes his fans of old have not left him.
“Typical Japanese wrestling fans only know Japanese wrestling,” Nakamura said. “Shinsuke Nakamura’s fans just started to watch WWE now, so I hope they expand their world with me.”