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Sunday, July 10, 2016

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The WWE Main Roster Needs Shinsuke Nakamura

By @TrueGodImmortal

Shinsuke Nakamura is the single greatest thing to happen to WWE in quite some time. I've always been a fan of his talents, watching his work from New Japan, but seeing him on the big stage further let me know that he's something special. Now, there was once a time where the WWE was really the only dance in town, and superstars didn't come in with a fanbase behind them as much. Remember the debuts of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, even Tyler Black or Jon Moxley (Seth and Dean)? They were seen as good wrestlers, but nothing too special, just indie guys who busted their ass for a shot at the big time. Times have surely changed since then.

When it was noted that the Bullet Club was heading to the WWE, things truly were different. AJ Styles was a legend in the business. Gallows and Anderson were well known through their NJPW and ROH moments, and the link to Finn Balor (Prince Devitt) was also vital in their arrival too. With Styles being brought in for the main roster early on, along with Gallows and Anderson, we saw them Instantly get over and become prominent figures on WWE TV. For me, it was an amazing spectacle to see these guys over and loved by a lot of the fans already. It was a marker of how far things have come since the days of indie wrestlers being looked at as lower. Normally, guys from other organizations or the indies were repackaged and sent to fail in the WWE, but this hasn't been the case for a number of the newer faces in WWE. One man who was included in the round of new talent that included the Bullet Club was Shinsuke Nakamura. I remember being skeptical of his chances in WWE, not because he wasn't good enough, but because he was TOO good and this was WWE.

I knew the WWE was planning to debut him and make him a big deal for the NXT brand and perhaps that was the smartest thing to do. Nakamura instantly coming up to the main roster may have backfired just a bit. I actually have to give WWE credit for building Nakamura up the right way. They did a flawless job from the announcing of him coming to NXT to his first appearance, and of course his first match. As I watched what I felt was one of the top 2 matches of the year so far (the no. 1 match? Nakamura vs Styles at Wrestle Kingdom... ha), Sami Zayn and Nakamura put on a classic that shook the building and shook the wrestling world. It was in this moment that I knew for sure what Nakamura brought to the table for the long term. It was undeniable at this point. Hands down. I figured they would put Nakamura in a title match right away and get him the belt since he instantly became the most over guy in NXT.

I was wrong. They instead allowed him a chance to go out there and make magic happen once again and he did not disappoint. Nakamura took Austin Aries to the limit and garnered a big victory and he will soon garner a victory on NXT TV (pretaped) over Finn Balor in what I keep hearing was a classic match. With that being said, this seems likely to put him in the driver's seat for a NXT Title shot finally. Nakamura has only been on WWE TV/NXT since April began, but his natural star power and his comfort in the ring make him look like a WWE veteran. That's why, I've said all that I said now to make this possibly shocking point:

Nakamura shouldn't win the NXT Title. 

Why? Because he should be called up to the main roster and instantly given a shot at the Intercontinental Title. Rushed? Not at all. Nakamura is a natural born star. When you find a once in a lifetime talent like him, you go with what makes the most sense. Nakamura is not ready for the WWE Title yet. He certainly could be in 2017 or 2018, but not yet. However, the Intercontinental Title means absolutely nothing with The Miz holding it. Miz is not a great wrestler and I've always found him to be boring as a character aside from a few select promos. Instead of a huge Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens Intercontinental Title feud, we just have the Miz wasting away the days and the belt. This is where Nakamura comes in.

All of the matches I'd like to see Nakamura have now are on the main roster. With his gimmick and his showmanship, Nakamura coming right in and challenging the Hollywood obsessed Miz would be perfect. No one likes the Miz, so the kids who aren't familiar as much with Nakamura will likely take to him once they see his talent on display and cheer him on. That's going to be important for him on the main roster, and if Nakamura can dethrone Miz as the Intercontinental champion, it would feel like order was restored to the importance of the belt. There's a lot of greatness that could come with an instant Nakamura IC Title run. Now, the brand split makes this slightly tough of course, because we have no idea what brand Nakamura would be on, but my guess is they would put him on Smackdown. Let's say in this event, we have Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, and Cesaro on Smackdown as the top stars. Imagine a Nakamura vs Cesaro 3 month feud for the IC Belt. Imagine the legendary rivalry between Styles and Nakamura continuing in WWE in a main event setting or upper card setting for Smackdown. Imagine Owens vs Nakamura for the IC Title. Honestly, imagine Nakamura vs Orton or even Bray as well. Those all would match up well with each other. Then there's the other brand.

Let's say that Nakamura goes to RAW with Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, The New Day, Dean Ambrose, and Finn Balor perhaps. You still have nothing but huge matches and feuds waiting. Zayn vs Nakamura in a feud? Money. Nakamura vs Balor in a main roster feud? Money. Brock vs Nakamura? In Japan? Biggest money WWE would see this day and age. Cena vs Nakamura? Absolutely amazing. I'd even love to see Ambrose vs Nakamura as well, as I feel it would be a fun watch, but nothing entices me more than a Seth Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakamura main roster feud. Nothing. It would be the ultimate clash for me and guess what? It's not too far from being a possible reality. This is slightly why I feel this brand split is a bad idea, because it'll deprive us of epic feuds and matches likely, but on either brand, there are huge matches and feuds that await Nakamura.

What does he have left to do in NXT? Not much. A short run with the NXT Title? A short feud with Samoa Joe? Perhaps a match or two with some of the Cruiserweight Classic guys that come into WWE (Cedric vs Nakamura please)? His work is essentially done there already. Nakamura is ready for the big stage, bright lights, and the WWE main roster. His first order of business? A run to revitalize the Intercontinental Title as a fighting champion weekly on whichever brand he ends up on. Or, the US Title if the brand he ends up on has that title instead of the IC Belt. Regardless, the fact remains that WWE needs Nakamura for this brand split and they need him in a secondary title picture ASAP. Nothing would make the IC or US Title picture better than Nakamura fighting for the title and getting a run with either belt. Imagine Nakamura walking into Wrestlemania 33 in front of 80,000 people as the Intercontinental Champion. That is epic. WWE, make this man available in the draft July 19th and let him shine.



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