Shinsuke Nakamura, perhaps the hottest free agent in sports-entertainment, has officially signed with WWE NXT. The announcement was made during a press conference Monday morning in his home country of Japan.
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His signing came during a whirlwind visit to the United States, which included stops at WWE World Headquarters in Stamford, Conn. and the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla.
“Talent is the lifeblood of our company, and the signing of Shinsuke Nakamura further demonstrates NXT’s commitment to bringing in the best talent from all over the world,” Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative said. “His explosive style will make an immediate impact to an already dynamic NXT men’s division.” A 14-year veteran of the squared circle, Nakamura has been a top star for New Japan Pro Wrestling since 2002.
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He employs a hard-hitting style in the ring, incorporating blistering strikes with submission holds. The crown jewel of his arsenal is a devastating knee strike known as the Bomaye, which has felled many opponents. Nakamura’s smash mouth offense, along with an unusual but magnetic charisma, has earned him the moniker The King of Strong Style.
In New Japan, Nakamura was a three-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion — a title held by the likes of WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki, Vader, The Great Muta and AJ Styles — and is the youngest competitor to earn that honor, winning it for the first time at 23. In recent years, he focused on bringing prestige to the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, a newer title in the Japanese promotion. During his career, Nakamura has done battle with some of the best grapplers in the world, like Styles, NXT Champion Finn Bálor, Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami, WWE Performance Center Head Coach Matt Bloom and the fearsome Brock Lesnar.
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Now, Nakamura is ready to continue his career inside WWE rings. He will make his debut during WrestleMania 32 Week, at NXT TakeOver: Dallas on Friday, April 1. The special event will air live around the world on WWE Network, starting at 10 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to WWE.com in the weeks leading up to TakeOver: Dallas to learn more about The King of Strong Style and find out what he has planned, now that he is officially an NXT Superstar.