Shinsuke Nakamura: Bobby Roode is ‘one of the best in the world’

Two-time NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura lost to Bobby Roode in a grueling, brutal main-event match at TakeOver: San Antonio that knocked the Japanese phenom out with a knee injury, but he’ll have a chance to regain his title Saturday night on the eve of WrestleMania at NXT TakeOver: Orlando.

Before what many fans are expecting could be Nakamura’s final match in NXT before he’s called up to the main roster, he spoke to Fox Sports about his upcoming match.


“It’s payback time for me,” Nakamura said. “I like to wrestle with Bobby Roode, I think he is one of the best in the world. He doesn’t have a big move, a high-fly – he just has a strategy, a good attitude. Psychology. So I need to bring out potential, ability, experience in Bobby Roode.”

It’s been a phenomenal first year in WWE for Nakamura, who arrived as one of New Japan’s biggest stars and put on the best match of WrestleMania weekend in Dallas against Sami Zayn. He’s since wrestled in TakeOver classics with Austin Aries and Samoa Joe, all the while honing his craft at the Performance Center in Orlando.

“There are lot of people in the Performance Center, so many young people, and also experienced people like me and Finn Balor. I could get a good feeling from the young people, good stimulation from them. They make me feel [like] I’m young.”

When asked which up-and-coming NXT stars impress him, Nakamura singled out Andrade “Cien” Almas and Aleister Black, both of whom will be in action at TakeOver: Orlando. Tye Dillinger didn’t make the age cut.

“Young people, right? Hmmm, Tye Dillinger is not young anymore [laughs]. He’s the same age as me.”

You can watch NXT TakeOver: Orlando Saturday night starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.