Shinsuke Nakamura won championship gold for the first time since joining NXT Saturday, as he defeated Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II.
Nakamura and Joe clashed in an epic title encounter that featured both men kicking out of finishers, but the King of Strong Style finally brought things to an end with the Kinshasa.
As seen in this tweet from WWE, that set the stage for a huge celebration for the first Japan-born Superstar to ever win a WWE brand's top title:
After multiple unsuccessful attempts to win the NXT title from Finn Balor, Joe finally accomplished the feat at a live event in Lowell, Massachusetts. After retaining the belt against Balor in a steel cage match at NXT TakeOver: The End, a new contender needed to step up.
It quickly became apparent that Nakamura was the right choice, as he picked up impressive victories over Sami Zayn and Austin Aries in his first two matches at NXT live specials.
That led to NXT general manager William Regal naming the Japanese Superstar the top challenger for the strap, but Joe argued he wasn't worthy of a shot at becoming champion, according to WWE NXT on Twitter:
Despite the Samoan Submission Specialist's best efforts to get out of the match, Regal stuck to his guns and set up a huge main event for the night before SummerSlam.
While the decision incensed Joe, he became even angrier on one of the final shows prior to NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II when Nakamura taunted him while officials were holding him back, as seen in this video courtesy of WWE:
That made things personal between Joe and Nakamura, and it enhanced what was already likely to be a hard-hitting, action-packed match to begin with.
Due to his undefeated record and level of success since joining NXT, Nakamura was viewed as a significant favorite to win his first-ever title with the company entering Brooklyn, New York.
With Balor on the main roster, the overarching notion was that the NXT creative team would put the belt on Nakamura and use his remarkable star power to mold him into the undisputed face of the brand.
NXT went in precisely that direction Saturday, and considering how hugely positive the reactions have been for the Japanese Superstar since making the leap from NJPW, it is nearly impossible to argue with the decision.
With Nakamura in the top spot, there are tons of possibilities for great rivalries and matches. A rematch with Joe seems likely, but feuds with Bobby Roode or countryman Hideo Itami could potentially be on the horizon as well.
NXT continues to be perhaps the hottest brand in professional wrestling, and with a charismatic figure such as Nakamura in the top spot, it will almost certainly continue its meteoric rise in the coming weeks and months.
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