AJ Styles responds to Shinsuke Nakamura’s WrestleMania 33 proposal

WWE fans have been patiently waiting for nearly a year for Shinsuke Nakamura to make the jump from NXT to the WWE main roster, where he’ll undoubtedly be a huge star. Nakamura is an extremely talented wrestler with years of experience in Japan, and his charisma is unparalleled. Last year at NXT: TakeOver Dallas, he delivered arguably the best match of WrestleMania 32 weekend with Sami Zayn.

Nakamura lost his NXT Championship at TakeOver: San Antonio on the eve of the Royal Rumble, and suffered a knee injury in the match against Bobby Roode that fortunately didn’t require surgery. Nakamura is close to a return, but the time may finally be right for him to leave the developmental division, and WWE needs to build the hype for a WrestleMania card that, as of now, is missing a fresh, must-see headliner.

Nakamura’s also got an idea for a potential WrestleMania opponent. In an interview with Yahoo.co.jp, Nakamura said that he wants to face former WWE World Champion AJ Styles.

Styles and Nakamura have wrestled before in Japan, and the duo put on one of the best matches of 2016 at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in the Tokyo Dome. It was Styles’ last match in Japan before debuting at the Royal Rumble, and Nakamura left New Japan Pro Wrestling soon after.

There’s just one problem: AJ Styles has other plans. Styles will compete in a Battle Royal Tuesday night on SmackDown to determine the new No. 1 contender for Bray Wyatt’s title, as Randy Orton refused to fight Wyatt despite winning the Royal Rumble to earn a shot in the WrestleMania main event.

Here’s what AJ Styles told Fox Sports a year ago prior to Nakamura’s debut:

“Shinsuke Nakamura is probably one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever been in the ring with. He’s very unorthodox. Everything he does is with knockout power. He’s a guy who is very flamboyant so don’t let his Michael Jackson antics fool you, this guy is deadly. He will knock you out. [He’s a] great athlete, can’t say enough great things about him.”

Nakamura may have to get in line. Kurt Angle has already said that he’d love to face Styles if he makes a comeback to the ring.