While probably not as surprising on the heels of AJ Styles’ debut at the Royal Rumble, WWE has confirmed, through a post on their website, that former 3-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, has officially signed with the company. Nakamura will begin his WWE career in their NXT organization, and during the TV tapings for NXT which occurred last night, it was revealed that his first match will take place at NXT TakeOver: Dallas on WrestleMania weekend, where he will be facing NXT veteran Sami Zayn.
From WWE.com’s official statement:
“Nakamura, a 14-year veteran of the squared circle, has been a leading star in the New Japan promotion since 2002. Renowned for his striking and submission ability, as well as his unorthodox charisma, Nakamura’s devastating Bomaye knee strike has felled many opponents and his smash mouth style has earned him the nickname The King of Strong Style. A three-time IWGP Champion – the same once title held by the likes of Vader, The Great Muta and AJ Styles â Nakamura is the youngest competitor to win that championship, capturing it for the first time at 23. He has taken on a who’s who of the best grapplers in the world in his career, facing the likes of Finn Bálor, Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami, WWE Performance Center Head Coach Matt Bloom and The Beast Incarnate himself, Brock Lesnar.”
And here’s an Instagram post from a fan in attendance at the NXT tapings, when Nakamura’s debut was announced: