Shinsuke Nakamura was born on February 24, 1980, in Mineyama, Kyoto, Japan. He was an accomplished wrestler in high school and college and even went on to represent Japan in the World Student Championships. After college he moved on to try his luck in puroresu and sought out the New Japan Dojo. He cleared the test to enter the Dojo and on March of 2002 he earned himself a spot on the NJPW roster. On August 29, 2002 he made his debut against Tadao Yasuda, and was named the "Super Rookie" by the fans. During the match his name was chanted like he was a grizzled veteran of the sport. He had already made a name for himself without even wrestling one match. The New Japan officials noticed this and knew that they had a future ace in their midst. He then journeyed to America to train in vale tudo, with the help of Antonio Inoki, to compete in Inoki's New Year's Festival on December 31, 2002. Nakamura would face Daniel Gracie in his debut and even though showing a great skill he was beaten. He would immediately come back to Japan and on January 4, 2003, he and his partner, Michiyoshi Ohara, would beat Tadao Yasuda and Kazunari Murakami when Nakamura made Yasuda pass out by a front neck lock. On February 1, 2003 he won his first tournament, the Teisen Hall Cup Six Man Tag Tournament when him and both of his partners, Hiro Saito and Tatsutoshi Goto, beat Yoshihiro Takayama, Shinya Makabe and Minoru Fujita. On May 2, 2003, Nakamura fought his second vale tudo fight against K-1's Jan "The Giant" Nortje, who even those was bigger and more experienced was beaten by Nakamura in the second round. After his last win he was given an opportunity to be in the 2003 G1 Climax. He would only win two matches in the tournament with one being a win over Yasuda. This brings us to December 9, 2003, when Nakamura was placed in a match against Hiroyoshi Tenzan for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Nakamura would land one of the biggest upsets of all time when he defeated Tenzan making him both the youngest wrestler to ever win the title, at 23, and being a pro for only a year and three months. Then on January 4, 2004, at New Japan's Tokyo Dome show he defended his championship and won the NWF title from Yoshihiro Takayama. He would unify the titles, but due to injuries he was soon after forced to vacate the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
Shinsuke Nakamura would make his return on March 28, 2004, and he would face and get the pinfall over Hiroyoshi Tenzan. On May 22, 2004, Nakamura defeated K-1's Alexey Ignashov on K-1 MMA's ROMANEX show. He would earn a slot in the 2004 G1 Climax and go on to score major wins over "Mr. Puroresu" Genichiro Tenryu on August 8th, and another over Yuji Nagata on August 13th. He wouldn't win the tournament, but in the end he earned a total of eight points and more respect from his peers. On October 17, 2004, Nakamura would participate in the Yuko Six Man Tag Tournament, with Blue Wolf and Katsuhiko Nakajima. They would face Mitsuya Nagai, Katsuyori Shibata and Ryota Chikuzen with Nakamura getting the win when he hooked the standing cross armbreaker on Nagai. A few days later on the October 24, Nakamura would win the President Hoshino 10,000,000 Yin Tag Tournament, with Tenzan, when they beat Masahiro Chono and Katsuyori Shibata. Even though they won the Hashino Tournament they did not receive any money because they were not apart of his Black Hole group. On December 11, 2004 him and his partner, Hiroshi Tanahashi, would defeat Kensuke Sasaki and Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP Tag Team Titles and bring them back to NJPW. This was a true historic event in NJ history and if these two men ever needed to prove that they were the future of the sport this was it. On the Tokyo Dome show of January 4, 2005, Nakamura would go one on one with Hiroshi Tanahashi for the U-30 Championship, and he would end up winning him the title. During their IWGP Tag Title run they ventured to Mexico and put the titles on the line on multiple occasions. They would come back to NJPW still champions and on October 30, 2005, they would lose the titles to Chono and Tenzan.
The beginning of 2006 Nakamura would face Brock Lesnar for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He would fall to the bigger champion, and a few months later he announced that he would be leaving NJPW so he could become a better wrestler in general. It was thought that he would wrestle for the WWE to help him learn more strong moves, but on September 24, 2006, he returned to NJPW and showed that he did leave for a reason. He vastly improved in his pure size and strength. He even took advantage of his new strength and introduced a new move called the Landslide. Soon after his return he partnered with Chono and won the 2006 G1 Tag league when they beat Tanahashi and Koji Kanemoto. Nakamura also proved during the tournament that even with his bigger size that he was still fast on his feet. Even though he seemed to be better than ever he lost to both Tanahashi on December 10, 2006, for the IWGP Title, and to Toshiaki Kawada on January 4th, 2007.
At the Tokyo Dome to start 2007, Nakamura lost to Toshiaki Kawada as he continued to master his new style of wrestling. At the New Japan Cup, Nakamura defeated Yano in the first round but had to forfeit in the second round. Co-leading BLACK with Masahiro Chono, they spent much of their time feuding with the New Japan Sekigun including Tanahashi and Nagata. Nakamura also feuded with Togi Makabe, with Makabe winning the series 2-1. At the G1 Climax, Nakamura reached the semi-finals and was poised to win the tournament, but he would dislocate his shoulder in his match against Nagata. Nakamura would miss several months, but would return on November 11th and would become the leader of RISE. On December 9th he defeated Makabe to become the number one contender for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for a match at the Tokyo Dome in 2008.
Nakamura had a memorable year in 2008, even if most of his accomplishments took place in the first few months. At the Tokyo Dome, Nakamura defeated Tanahashi to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Kurt Angle also wrestled on the event, defending the IWGP 3rd Belt that Brock Lesnar had taken in 2006. On February 17th, Nakamura faced off against Angle for both titles, and Nakamura would come out victorious, finally bringing the IWGP 3rd Belt back to New Japan. His joy didn't last long however, as on April 27th he lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to the invading Keiji Mutoh. In the G1 Climax, Nakamura did well but lost a tie-breaker to Hirooki Goto and failed to reach the finals. Nakamura would team with Goto on September 5th to challenge Makabe and Yano for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but they would come up short. Nakamura would get another shot at Mutoh's IWGP Heavyweight Championship on October 13th, and while Nakamura controlled the match he would lose after a quick Mutoh Frankensteiner. In the G1 Tag League he teamed with Goto, but they would fall in the semi-finals to Togi Makabe and Toru Yano.
Nakamura had a great year in 2009 as he created a new faction and won back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Nakamura started the year with a bang, as he and Goto teamed to defeat Misawa and Sugiura at the Tokyo Dome. In the spring, Nakamura split away from RISE and created CHAOS, combining his team with part of GBH to create one of the largest factions in Japan. Nakamura participated in the New Japan Cup, but lost to Goto in the second round. Nakamura did much better in the G1 Climax, as he went undefeated up to the finals, including injuring Tanahashi in the Semi Final. In the Finals he was defeated by his rival Togi Makabe, preventing him from winning his first G1 Climax. In a decision match against Makabe after he injured Tanahashi, Nakamura won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the third time. Nakamura successfully defended the title three times the rest of the year, defeating Tanahashi, Nagata, and Omori. In the G1 Tag League he teamed with Yano, and the team won their block but were upset by Apollo55 in the Semi Final.
Shinsuke Nakamura entered 2010 as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and at the Tokyo Dome he defeated Yoshihiro Takayama in the main event. His next two defenses were also successful as he defeated Nakanishi and Goto, but on May 3rd he lost the championship to Togi Makabe. On July 19th, Nakamura got a chance to win back his title, but Makabe would come out victorious again. In the G1 Climax, Nakamura came in 2nd but a draw with Go Shiozaki on the last day kept him out of the Finals. In the G1 Tag League, Nakamura surprised many by tagging with Daniel Puder, and the pair would come in fourth place in their block.