Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles met on Sunday night for Styles’ WWE Championship in the co-main event at WrestleMania 34 and after months of hype (and swerves as to whether we’d get this match one-on-one) the two did not disappoint, even though many hoped for them to get a bit more time.
Nakamura’s entrance was, as expected, incredible featuring a guitarist, drummer, and lots of violinists performing his theme as he did his dance down the ramp (and in a new jacket and pants).
The rematch of their legendary Wrestle Kingdom 10 match got started with some strong work and chain wrestling early, with both superstars trading blows. The two traded stretches of being in control, with both pulling out some pretty incredible moves (Styles’ gutbuster on Nakamura was especially great). Styles was the first to try a finisher, setting up for a Styles Clash and then after Nakamura slipped out, went for a Phenomenal Forearm that Nakamura countered into a Landslide.
Styles kicked out and shortly after pulled Nakamura into a calf crusher in the middle of the ring. Nakamura eventually reversed that into a triangle choke, which Styles eventually was able to pick Shinsuke up and slam Nakamura to break the hold. Styles then connected on a Phenomenal Forearm that Nakamura kicked out of. Styles would then try to put him away with a Springboard 450, but Shinsuke pulled his knees up to counter to preserve the match.
Nakamura would then go for a Kinshasa that Styles rolled through and countered with a Styles Clash to put the match away and retain the WWE Championship.
It was a great match that was not as good as their Wrestle Kingdom 10 match, as much because it didn’t get as much time and it ended a bit more abruptly just as it seemed to really pick up. After the match, the two embraced and Shinsuke presented Styles with the title on one knee. However, Nakamura made a heel turn by hitting Styles with a low blow, stomped on him, and then kicked him out of the ring where he hit him with a Kinshasa.