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Nakamura and Asuka make history at the Royal Rumble

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Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka made history last night at the Royal Rumble by becoming the first Japanese Superstars to win the over-the-top rope Rumble match…on the same night!

If you go back through all the winners of the Royal Rumble, you will find a lot of Americans, Canadians, a Mexican, and an Irish who won the Rumble, but never a Japanese.

Asuka joined WWE in 2015 and has so far embarked on an undefeated streak that has not been seen since the days of Goldberg. Her streak has surpassed the former Universal champion’s one and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop heading into WrestleMania. Asuka has been part of the Raw brand since October of last year after two years in NXT.

On a side note, Japan was also represented in the women’s Rumble by the Mae Young Classic winner Kairi Sane, who has not wrestled for the last several weeks due to an injury.

Nakamura followed Asuka to WWE a few months later in February 2016 and while already a mega star in New Japan Pro Wrestling, he was still kind of new for WWE fans. His style, theme song, and first match against Sami Zayn changed that immediately though and while he was not undefeated, he became a two-time NXT champion before moving to the main roster on the post-WrestleMania Smackdown last year. Nakamura vs Styles in a WWE ring is a dream match despite the fact that it already happened in New Japan.

Colin Vassallo has been editor of Wrestling-Online since 1996. He is born and raised in Malta, follows professional wrestling and MMA, loves to travel, and is a big Apple fan!

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