It’s Official: Shinsuke Nakamura’s First WWE Match Has Been Announced

Shinsuke Nakamura has long been a staple of New Japan Pro Wrestling, winning the IWGP championship on three separate occasions, and last holding the promotion’s Intercontinental title before relinquishing it during a press conference earlier this January. The reason he relinquished the belt has been know for over a few weeks now: he’s coming to WWE. What we didn’t know was in what capacity he would come to the biggest pro wrestling stage in the world. WWE? NXT? Well, now we know.

Officially announced on, Nakamura will be heading to Dallas for WrestleMania weekend to take part in the NXT TakeOver special airing before the big event.

Nakamura is the self-proclaimed “King of Strong Style,” and uses a variety of kicks, knee strikes, and submissions in a vast repertoire of maneuvers that are both devastating and dazzling to see. There’s many questions as to how WWE will treat his high-impact style, especially his finisher, the Bomaye running knee strike. WWE mentions the maneuver by name in their piece on the Japanese superstar, so expect that he’ll continue to use it, just not with the ferocity that he currently employs it.

If you’re avoiding spoilers, stop reading here.

It doesn’t mention his opponent on WWE’s site, but those in attendance for the NXT taping have noted in various outlets that Nakamura has been announced to face Sami Zayn at the Takeover special.

Zayn is a great match for the master of the Bomaye to start off his NXT run, as he’s traveled extensively around the world and has had standout encounters with another New Japan star, Kota Ibushi, when Zayn was still doing the El Generico gimmick. Is the WWE Universe ready for Nakamura to take the spotlight? He has all the tools to be a top star in WWE, so we’ll have to wait and see.

(via WWE)