Source: Talk Is Jericho
Recently on Talk Is Jericho, 'The Ayatollah Of Rock n Rolla' Chris Jericho welcomed 'The King Of Strong Style' Shinsuke Nakamura to the podcast. Among other things, Nakamura talked about whether moving to the United States from Japan was a difficult transition, living with Daniel Bryan to train in MMA, changing his gimmick in Mexico, inspiration for his mesmerizing character, and who he likes working in NXT.
"Not so strange. I already had a lot of friends in the United States and I was looking for something new, like a new stimulation. So finally, I did a lot of things at New Japan. [I said] 'okay, I need more, I need more, maybe I have to go to the United States, yeah' because I needed something new, a new challenge. A big challenge."
Nakamura was certainly no stranger to the United States when he signed with NXT this year as he lived in California with Daniel Bryan and MMA's Lyoto Machida when they were in the Inoki Dojo.
"I think 2002 to 2004, I trained MMA at Los Angeles [California], and also I trained pro wrestling at Los Angeles at the LA Dojo. So me and Daniel Bryan, Lyoto Machida had the same apartment almost 14 years ago. So I couldn't speak English at all then. Lyoto Machida [was] also [in the] same situation. He only [spoke] Portuguese. Then so we tried to talk [and] Daniel [would say] 'both of your English is s--t!'"
Apparently, CMLL was not enamored with Nakamura's current gimmick back in 2011 when he was working in Mexico. It upset the promotion because officials did not think Nakamura was doing strong style.
"In 2011, I went to Mexico. I wanted to change." Nakamura continued, "people loved it. People [were] excited, but [the] company [was] pissed. 'Hey, this isn't Shinsuke Nakamura! This is not strong style!' Also, the Japanese company too [asked], 'hey Shinsuke, why did you do that?' I wanted to change something."
As for inspiration for his character, Nakamura cited Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury. Nakamura named 'Human Nature' his favorite Michael Jackson song while 'Bicycle' is his favorite Queen tune.
"If I watch Michael Jackson, I felt, 'oh, he's a real master of martial [arts] because of his standing is very straight. Then, no muscles because dancers have muscles, but his moving is quick. His dancing is the best, [better] than other dancers." Nakamura added, "Michael Jackson gave me a lot of hints, a lot of inspiration."
Additionally, Nakamura claimed to be inspired by Jushin 'Thunder' Liger and martial artists Jackie Chan, and Bruce Lee.
"A lot of martial artists - Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan. They are my idols. Also, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, so yeah. My idols."
Nakamura stated that he has no problem going from headlining major shows in Japan to touring smaller venues with NXT because he is still learning the WWE style.
"Smaller shows, but I don't care because [it is a] new experience for me. So WWE style, so work WWE/NXT style [is] much different." Nakamura added, "so [it is a] new experience for me. Very interesting."
When asked who he likes working with in NXT, Nakamura named Tye Dillinger, Finn Bálor, and Samoa Joe.
"Tye Dillinger has experience. He knows timing and [has] a good character. Everybody wants to do '10! 10! 10!', so it's easy to cheer for him. Yeah, '10! 10!' everybody understands. That was a good thing he found a good character. So not so many people I've wrestled in NXT. Finn [Bálor], Samoa Joe."
To check out the show, click here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.