Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
News feeds erupted in January when news broke that renowned grappler Shinsuke Nakamura was leaving his home country of Japan and heading to NXT in search of the world’s finest competition.
At TakeOver: Dallas, in his first official bout under the yellow-and-black banner, Nakamura will face the elite of NXT, when he goes one-on-one with Sami Zayn.
General Manager William Regal announced the marquee match on the March 16 edition of NXT, one week after Zayn narrowly lost an hour-long, 2-out-of-3 Falls instant classic against Samoa Joe to decide NXT Champion Finn Bálor’s next challenger. In making the bout official, Regal obliged not only dream-match-makers around the globe, but also Zayn, who Regal said deserves to battle “one of the best in the world” as a reward for all his hard work in NXT.
The widely hailed Nakamura brings more than 14 years’ ring experience to NXT, as well as an utterly unique style that was developed in the notoriously tough ranks of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Nakamura – whose nickname is The King of Strong Style – ascended to the top of New Japan in short order, even becoming the youngest man in history to hold its top title. Now he looks to make an immediate impact by trumping the Superstar who was long considered NXT’s heart and soul.
Former NXT Champion Zayn remains as beloved as ever by the NXT Universe, but he now finds himself fighting battles on two fronts: In addition to his upcoming TakeOver bout, Zayn is now an active and full-time member of the WWE roster. Though it’s too soon to say whether Dallas will be Zayn’s NXT swansong, there is no doubt the sensational Superstar will hold nothing back against his world-class opposition.
Watch Shinsuke Nakamura’s historic NXT debut when he battles Sami Zayn at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, live tonight at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, only on the award-winning WWE Network.