Shinsuke Nakamura Believes Kota Ibushi Will Become A Bigger Star Than Kazuchika Okada, Comments On New IWGP World Title
Photo Credit: WWE
Shinsuke Nakamura sees big things in the future for Kota Ibushi, and looks back at Brock Lesnar’s history in Japan.
Shinsuke Nakamura was a guest on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and first talked about his famed 2006 title match against Brock Lesnar in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Asked if he’d want another shot at Lesnar, who is currently a free agent and has not worked with WWE since WrestleMania 36, Nakamura said he’d take the match if he had the chance.
“If I have the opportunity, of course I want [the rematch],” Nakamura said.
Renee then asked about the reaction to Lesnar winning the title in New Japan and the circumstances of how he left the company, and Nakamura said people saw it as very “unprofessional” behavior.
Lesnar won the title on October 8, 2005 and made multiple defenses (including the Nakamura match on January 4, 2006) but was ultimately stripped of the title on July 15 of that year. It was reported that Lesnar, who was already dealing with WWE’s repeated attempts to bar him from competing in Japan, was stripped of the title due to reported “visa issues” but he still possessed the physical title for another year. Lesnar would still defend the title for the Inoki Genome Federation in 2007, losing it to Kurt Angle in his last match until 2012.
Hiroshi Tanahashi would later win the new IWGP title recognized by New Japan, and Nakamura eventually beat him for it at Wrestle Kingdom II. Nakamura would later defeat Angle in February 2008 to unify the NJPW and IGF titles.
— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) May 18, 2021
Later in the episode, Nakamura said he still watches New Japan quite a bit and called Kazuchika Okada “the one”, but said he thinks Kota Ibushi will be a bigger star than Okada in time. “Finally, he’s trying to show his responsibility,” Nakamura explained.
Finally, Nakamura was asked for his thoughts about New Japan’s new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, a merger of their Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles that was revealed on March 1 of this year. Nakamura is the youngest IWGP Heavyweight Champion ever (27 years, 10 months, 11 days) and he pointed out that with the new title unification, his record will never be broken.
“They made a new IWGP World Heavyweight [Championship], no more IWGP Heavyweight and no more IWGP Intercontinental title. It’s—it makes my record [stand] forever.,” Nakamura said. “I am forever the youngest IWGP Heavyweight Champion.”
Nakamura went on to agree that less titles were a good thing, then the pair talked about Jon Moxley, who Paquette pointed out was the current NJPW United States Champion, and his match with Yuji Nagata on Dynamite. Nakamura then detailed his relationship with Nagata and talked about how Nagata-san is one of his mentors and he served as his young boy in Japan.