Shinsuke Nakamura on Transitioning to NXT, Developing his Character, Working with John Cena, More!

Below is recap of Talk is Jericho Podcast featuring Shinsuke Nakamura:

Jericho welcomes Shinsuke Nakamura to the show.

Nakamura says it was strange to return to Tokyo recently with the WWE Live tour. He spent so many years there as part of NJPW, and to return now under the WWE banner was a strange situation for him. He says Anderson, Gallows and Styles all felt similarly returning to Japan for the first time with WWE.

He feels that fans in Japan want him to experience as much success as possible with WWE, be he understands that the fans miss him, as they miss any wrestler who grows up in NJPW who then decides to go elsewhere.<br />
He says he made the decision to come to North America because he felt there was nothing left for him to accomplish in NJPW. He’s always trying to push himself and find new challenges so he felt it was time for him to move to WWE and embrace a new experience.

Nakamura says it has been tough to learn the english language. He says he traveled to Los Angeles about 10 years ago to study mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and at that time he didn’t know any english at all.

Jericho feels that Nakamura is the top Japanese star to come to North America since The Great Muta. This is a tremendous compliment and Nakamura feels that the internet and Youtube has allowed Japanese wrestlers to gain followings in North America. This is a big advantage for him and other wrestlers from his generation.

Nakamura informs that WWE called him offering him an opportunity with NXT. He says he had to think about it long and hard, but he realized that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work for WWE. He adds that it was very hard for him to tell executives at NJPW that he will be leaving for WWE because he grew up in that promotion, and he was the face of the company for many years.

Nakamura credits Michael Jackson for inspiring a lot of his in-ring techniques. He says a lot of wrestlers today work so fast that the fans can not understand what they’re seeing in the ring. Watching Michael Jackson dance taught him to slow down, execute everything with style and allow fans to visually grasp everything they’re seeing.

He also says he idolized Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger.

Namakura informs that he grew up along the countryside of Japan, and one or twice a year NJPW would travel to his hometown. He would go to those shows and grow to love the characters. When he and his family traveled into the city he would buy wrestling magazines and masks.

He says he immediately fell in love with the cruiserweight style of wrestling. When he began to break into the wrestling business he was told his height would prevent him from working that type of style. He began to refine his own style, and started implementing his knees into his offence.

He informs that he suffered a broken nose from being hit with an opponents knee during one of his mixed martial arts contests. He knows how devastating knee strikes can be, and he thinks fans realize that as well. Jericho agrees and says while fans may not know how a moonsault feels, everything has been struck by a knee at some point in their life and they can relate to it.

Jericho asks Nakamura who his favourite wrestler to work with has been thus far at NXT. He informs that Tye Dillinger has a lot of experience and a great character. He also has enjoyed his time working with Finn Balor and Samoa Joe, but other than that, he has yet to work with the majority of the roster.

e informs that his wife speaks english much better than he does, and that has made their transition to North America much easier for him and his family. He says he has found an Asian market in Orlando, so he is happy to be able to buy his favourite meals.

Nakamura is a firm believer that the manoeuvres in a match are not nearly as important as what happens in between each manoeuvre. His charisma, character, and the way he moves is all based around keeping people captivated in between the big physical spots in a match. He looked up to Freddie Mercury as a performer, and he felt Mercury was a master of keeping people entertained throughout the duration of a performance.

He says that Triple H has told him to be himself and to basically do what he wants. That is an extreme vote of confidence from The Game. He says when he eventually makes his main roster debut, he hopes to just fit in and adjust on the fly as opportunities arise.

Nakamura informs that he is looking forward to working with John Cena. Watching Cena from afar he thought Cena was a typical ‘North American wrestler’, but since he arrived in NXT he learned quickly that Cena is a very capable in-ring performer and he is excited to work with him.


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