Nakamura made history at the Royal Rumble, and put over the significance of his achievement.
The winner of the 2018 Men's Royal Rumble match, Shinsuke Nakamura, spoke with ESPN after his massive win this past Sunday. The former two-time NXT Champion's excitement was on full display as he is set for a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 34 against the "Phenomenal One" A.J. Styles. During Nakamura's interview with ESPN, he stated that although he knew the importance of a 'Royal Rumble' match, he had never watched one before.
"I believe this is the biggest thing to happen in my career so far. That's until WrestleMania this year which will be the biggest thing in my life," he said.
As it came down the final four of: John Cena, Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura & Finn Balor, the "King Of Strong Style" said that he could feel the crowd favoring him.
"I really felt the people behind me," Nakamura said. "You had Cena, Roman, Randy; the biggest stars in the WWE and I feel like I'm a new guy, but the WWE Universe really supported me. This was my first time being in a match with these kinds of rules. I've never watched a Royal Rumble match, this was my first time. I wanted to enjoy it for the first time being in it."
Nakamura also went over his transition from NXT to SmackDown Live, which was just barely a year after making the jump from New Japan Pro Wrestling to NXT.
"When I came to NXT, I didn't need to adjust," Nakamura said. "NXT fans are hardcore wrestling fans. I just had to wrestle and they reacted but when I got called up to SmackDown, it was different. There's just a difference in the live events. So last year, I had to make an adjustment from NXT to SmackDown like others have done from NXT to RAW. It takes time to adjust but today I finally feel like I'm there, I feel at home. It's hard to choose the words even if I was speaking Japanese. It's hard to find the words."
Although Nakamura has main evented TakeOver's and showed his skills on NXT's biggest stages, no event in the WWE can compare to wrestling for a major championship at WrestleMania.
"One of the reasons to come to the WWE was to wrestle at WrestleMania, but to main-event WrestleMania? Wow, I live for this. I have experience wrestling Brock and AJ, but I really think the people and the audience around the world want to see AJ and me. That's the match everyone wants to see," Nakamura said.
Nakamura is slated to take on WWE Champion AJ Styles at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans on April 8.