Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro.
Antonio Inoki is no longer here.
Strong Style lives within me — I am Strong Style personified.
For the fans that remain, and the fans that shall be.
– Shinsuke Nakamura
Maybe you just watched Wrestle Kingdom 9, saw Shinsuke Nakamura enter the Tokyo Dome in a crown and cape and wrestle an incredible match and proceeded to completely lose your shit and vow to name your firstborn after him. Welcome to the club! [EDIT: This post has been updated in May 2015 to account for all the people who lost their shit and became overwhelmed by Nakamuraness during the US/Canada tour, okay thanks.]
One of the best things about being on the Shinsuke Nakamura bandwagon is that I, Captain Deathlock of the S.S. Strong Style, will boma ye the hell out of anyone who wants to treat you badly for being a newbie, a fangirl or for just asking too many questions.
We’re family now, so I want to help you get started and support you when you feel like you just can’t deal with your life anymore because Shinsuke Nakamura is tearing it apart with every five star match he wrestles and making you reconsider your entire being as a wrestling fan and everything you knew. I know, I know. Come here, it’s okay to cry.
Let’s get started.
Shinsuke connects with fans on a number of levels, but if you’re here, you’re primarily in this for the wrestling. He has lots of that, and he would appear to be the best in the world at it right now [ever – ed].
If you haven’t yet, watch Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 9 right now, as it is a beautiful display of everything he does best: grace, storytelling, flawless technicality, brutality, and downright nasty arrogance. He’s always like this, and we are so lucky to have him. That Ibushi kid is alright too.
One very good idea is to subscribe to NJPWWorld (there is an ENGLISH SIGNUP PAGE now!) and reference SenorLARIATO’s list of great matches available on the service. A number of them include Shinsuke, naturally. You should aim to see every big Shinsuke match from 2014 at least. Then you can go back through the years and fill in the rest of the hole in your heart where Shinsuke never was and now needs to be.
NJPWWorld is adding more content all the time, but not a whole lot from before 2011 is up yet for Shinsuke. Here are my 2014 favorites:
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Wrestle Kingdom 8
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura, The New Beginning in Hiroshima
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs Minoru Suzuki, New Japan Cup Final
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Invasion Attack
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs Katsuyori Shibata, G1 Climax Day 1
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura, G1 Climax Day 8
- Kazuchika Okada vs Shinsuke Nakamura, G1 Climax Finals
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Katsuyori Shibata, Power Struggle
Buying Shinsuke merchandise:
Puro expert @TomBlargh did an excellent overview of Shinsuke’s available merchandise as of last year. There is some more stuff available now. You can get it through the NJPW official store by using a shipping service like White Rabbit Express. They’ll charge you a shopper’s fee and shipping from Japan is expensive no matter what, but paying almost any amount of money is better than not having a Shinsuke Nakamura hoodie, I can say with confidence.
If you go really insane and start needing to buy, say, every magazine or issue of KAMINOGE that features him, Kinokuniya is a great bookstore that will ship Japanese books to a lot of places. These are not in English of course but they have a lot of pictures of him surfing and wearing suits so TAKE MY MONEY, as the kids say.
Here are some Shinsuke things you need to know:
Shinsuke is good at the Internet, so follow him everywhere (on the Internet — not in real life, even I don’t do that).
- Twitter (@ShinsukeN)
- Instagram (mostly pictures of beaches, YOSHI-HASHI, and Tomohiro Ishii. Sometimes selfies. Sometimes selfies with Masahiro Chono.)
Shinsuke’s name in kanji is 中邑 真輔 which can help you when searching for matches on NJPWWorld and the rest of the Internet. Japanese people of course don’t take care to romanize his name every time he’s referenced because if they’re typing his name they’re probably too busy losing their minds over Shinsuke Nakamura to do much else.
You can also follow @DailyNakamura on Twitter, which aims to retweet every stunning picture of Shinsuke from current events as well as scour the Internet for good ones from days past. @DailyNakamura is not officially affiliated with Shinsuke but I run it so that means it’s awesome.
The Shinsuke Nakamura tag on Tumblr is not a wasteland, so that’s worth checking out. Nakamura fans appear to engage respectfully with the warmth and light and sensuality he shares with us as a performer who wears tight leather pants. This could change at any time so don’t quote me on it and enjoy it while it lasts.
On Facebook he lists his religious affiliation as “strong style wrestling.” Seriously. If he’s not your favorite wrestler now I really just don’t know what else to tell you. Maybe stop reading and go look for a post about John Cena or something.
Here are some Shinsuke things you need to watch:
Shinsuke Nakamura speaks English in an interview with MVP at around 12:17 of this video. Try not to let your heart break into a million pieces when he says he wrestles at NJPW for his honor. FOR HIS HONOR. (Stick around to hear Okada say what he has to say to TNA.) (May 2015 update: UGH I DIDN’T EVEN FOLLOW MY OWN ADVICE. FOR HIS HONOR. HONESTLY!??!?! *throws money* *elects him president of the united states*)
Shinsuke Nakamura surfing and laughing on the beach. Also, some history between Shinsuke and Katsuyori Shibata.
Shinsuke Nakamura throwing a baseball. No, there’s nothing he can’t do, we checked.
Shinsuke Nakamura going on a dating show (they didn’t stay together, he’s married to someone else) and getting the high score on Champion Kick without even seriously trying. That was kind of terrifying, actually.
Shinsuke Nakamura reversing the Rainmaker at the G124 finals. How does anyone move this way?
Shinsuke Nakamura being friends with Hello Kitty.
Shinsuke Nakamura outswags everyone in the Japanese version of Pharell’s “Happy” video (~54 seconds in).Okay this is a good start, get in touch by tweeting me @shellydeathlock if you need more help on your journey, I’m here for you. Also, if you want to read a confessional philosophical one thousand word explanation of why Shinsuke is my favorite wrestler of all time, you can buy PWF #1 here and read my article: The stylized reality of the philosopher king: Shinsuke Nakamura as the embodiment of professional wrestling. Pro Wrestling Feelings, 1.