With Triple H and NXT general manager William Regal by his side, Japanese wrestler Kushida officially signed with the WWE on Thursday afternoon.
"It's a very proud day for us here at NXT," Regal said. "We finally got to get the superstar that is Kushida, here, to join NXT. And it's a wonderful day for us."
"This is a very big day for us," Triple H said. "We've been very excited, having talks for a long period time about him coming here, coming to NXT to compete against the best that we have here.
Kushida, full name Yujiro Kushida, first joined New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2010. He eventually grew to become the "ace" of the company's junior heavyweight division, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship six times, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships twice and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament twice. His final New Japan match came in January when he lost a bout to Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Throughout his time in New Japan, Kushida often incorporated the modern classic Back to the Future into his ring gear and moveset. He hinted that he'll continue that trend in NXT when he posted his first tweet after signing.
Given how WWE has previously brought big stars into NXT, there's a good chance Kushida will be spotted in the crowd at the Barclays Center on Friday night during NXT TakeOver: New York. The card currently as five matches scheduled, all of which are title bouts, and will feature a Two out of Three Falls main event between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole for the vacated NXT Championship.
This is far from the first time the WWE has picked up some of New Japan's top talent. Other talent signings in recent years includes AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The Japan-based promotion will be in New York City on Saturday night as they team up with Ring of Honor to host the G1 Supercard event at Madison Square Garden.
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