Nakamura On Living With Daniel Bryan, Being Influenced By Michael Jackson

NXT star Shinsuke Nakamura recently appeared as a guest on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast, which is available for download right now at

During his appearance on the show, “The King of Strong Style” discussed what it was like moving to the United States, sharing an apartment with Daniel Bryan and UFC star Lyoto Machida in the past, who influenced his character, talent he has seen in his short time thus far in NXT and more. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.

On how strange it was moving to the United States:

“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.”

On being roommates with Daniel Bryan and Lyoto Machida in the early 2000s:

“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!'”

On who some of the inspirations for his character are:

“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.”

“A lot of martial artists – Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan. They are my idols. Also, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, so yeah. My idols.”

On some of the talent he likes in NXT:

“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.”

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