Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the most exciting talents to ever emerge from New Japan Pro Wrestling. With accolades including being the youngest ever heavyweight champion for the promotion, his flamboyant and high-intensity style will be a great asset to the company.
But how should they book him?
Many reports have suggested that Nakamura's proposed contract is in the same vein of the contact offered to AJ Styles; pricing him only as main roster material. However, for WWE to capitalise fully on his talents, Shinsuke Nakamura should be placed in NXT to build connections with a fan base first.
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Taking Hideo Itami as an example. Many diehard wrestling fans are aware of his work as KENTA and his use of the GTS. But, with the main market of WWE fans in this PG era being 13 years and under, they only associate that move with of course CM Punk.
WWE have successfully repackaged him through NXT and given him an identity that new fans can now engage with but also the use of teasing moments (like setting up for the GTS) to suck in diehard fans as well.
Now, I know Nakamura’s age is an issue, however, I think six-to-eight months in NXT would be beneficial for his development in a western biased company, otherwise I fear WWE will turn him into the stereotypical Japanese wrestler gimmick which fans have seen from wrestlers like Tajiri and Yoshi Tatsu in recent times.
Also, being based in NXT may give him to the opportunity to work with Finn Balor and Samoa Joe; men equally as talented as him and capable of taking his heavy shots that he made famous in New Japan Pro Wrestling; ultimately, creating dream card matches before even hitting the main roster.
The WWE seem to agree with this philosophy, as reports are surfacing that the ‘King of Strong Style’ is set to make his debut at the NXT takeover event in Dallas against Sami Zayn.
It’ll be interesting to see how they book him in this match as Zayn is highly tipped to be the one to capture the belt from Finn Balor and become the first multi-time NXT champion. But, personally I reckon he should go to the main roster after this event.
WWE love to capitalise on its new talents success and give them victories in their debut matches. So I would have Nakamura defeat Zayn at the takeover but also Samoa Joe capture the championship to begin a feud between Joe and Nakamura over the championship. This would also give WWE the opportunity to call up Zayn and Balor to the main roster and begin what will be successful careers there too.
Now these predictions may not come to fruition but it’s fair to say if WWE’s creative team does take these things into consideration, we may see the emergence of one of the best international stars the company has ever had.