After Shinsuke Nakamura lost his NXT Championship rematch to Bobby Roode on Saturday night at NXT TakeOver: Orlando, he had an extended curtain call at Amway Center, saying goodbye to the crowd and leading them in singing his entrance music. Even before the event, many thought WrestleMania weekend would be his last hurrah before jumping to the main WWE roster. Now it appears everyone was right.
Nakamura came out at the end of a Total Bellas parody segment that had The Miz and Maryse in the ring. As it was coming to a close, the violin player who performed Nakamura’s entrance theme at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II came out and started playing. From there, Nakamura did what Nakamura does best – captivated the audience.
Nakamura signed with WWE in January of 2016, after departing New Japan following Wrestle Kingdom that year. He made his much-anticipated debut at NXT TakeOver: Dallas in April of that year, wrestling Sami Zayn in what many felt was the Match of the Year (and which was also Zayn’s final match in NXT).
He won the NXT Championship in August, defeating Samoa Joe at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, then traded the belt with Joe – becoming the second-ever two-time NXT Champion in the process – before dropping it to Bobby Roode at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio over Royal Rumble weekend.