Shinsuke Nakamura's defection to the WWE earlier this year shocked many, but he had decided well ahead of time.
During the most recent episode of Talk is Jericho, Shinsuke Nakamura told Chris Jericho that the WWE had contacted him, and quite a long time ago. Nakamura made the call as early as summer 2015 that he'd be leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling for the bright lights of the WWE.
"They contacted me. They said 'Maybe when your contract is finished' and I said 'Maybe I'll wrestle one more year (in New Japan.' 2015. Then finally I decided in August 2015 I had to go to the United States."
Nakamura said that NXT trainer Matt Bloom, who also performed as Giant Bernard, Albert, A-Train and Lord Tensai was an important aspect of his decision, saying "He understands me, my family. We've known each other since 2006. He understands my challenge."
After spending well over a decade in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Nakamura spoke of the tough situation he was in explaining to the company he was leaving. NJPW also lost AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and Kota Ibushi around the same time.
"That was difficult. Jado and Gedo, they understand a wrestler's life. The drain of wrestlers. They understand. That was heavy for me to tell them, the company. I wrestled for the company in 2002, and they gave me (that top) position. Sometimes I'd fight MMA for other companies, and go back between MMA and wrestling, but I quit MMA in 2004. I needed more (wrestling) experience," said Nakamura.
You can hear the full interview at this link.
By Sean Ross Sapp