Why WWE hasn’t had Shinsuke Nakamura compete on SmackDown LIVE yet

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As expected, there was plenty of excitement surrounding WrestleMania 33 this year and it didn’t end on April 2, as the fans were still buzzing the following two nights on Monday Night RAW and SmackDown LIVE.

One of RAW’s biggest highlights was the unforgiving reaction from fans towards Roman Reigns, but it’s usually the NXT call-ups and returns that fans enjoy the most.


We saw perhaps the biggest call-up in history on the blue brand when The Miz and Maryse were interrupted by Lee England Jr as he played Shinsuke Nakamura out to the ring for the very first time on the main roster.


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While The King of Strong Style is a massive loss to NXT, he’s arguably the greatest acquisition from any of the call-ups that have taken place - ever.

Since then, though, an additional two episodes have aired and although we’ve seen Nakamura in the ring, we’re yet to see him compete.

It’s clear that he’s heading towards a match at the SmackDown-exclusive Backlash pay-per-view against Dolph Ziggler, and many have predicted why Nakamura hasn’t had a match against anybody on the main roster yet.

While it’s been claimed that they’re building up the anticipation, that’s apparently not the case, not completely anyway.

The only time he’s been seen in action is when he takes on Ziggler in the main event of the dark matches that take place after SmackDown, and per RingSideNews, there’s a very good reason for that.

They’re claiming that the real reason he’s not competing on SmackDown and is limited to dark matches is so that WWE try to keep the audience sticking around once the show goes off the air.

205 LIVE

It’s common knowledge that the fans tend to leave SmackDown once the show has finished, and WWE airs the cruiserweight dedicated show, 205 Live, straight after it and the arenas look empty because the show they came for has ended, and it’s also taking a toll on the show aired on the WWE Network as fans simply aren't tuning in.

By having the SmackDown dark matches after 205 Live, it gives fans a reason to stick around to watch Nakamura in action, and the more fans that remain in their seats, the better it looks on the Network.

You can understand why WWE would do this, as they’re trying to significantly improve one of their products while it gives fans an incentive to stick around and get a lot more than what they initially paid for.

Now, it seems like fans must play the waiting game to see the former NXT Champion in action on live television, where his match against Ziggler in Chicago is expected to go down a massive success.

The Chicago crowd is always wild, so we should expect a similar reaction to the one he received when he first appeared on SmackDown LIVE.

What do you make of Shinsuke Nakamura not competing on SmackDown LIVE yet? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the second episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here! Check out the inside info from our coverage in Orlando. https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/givemesport-inside-wrestlemania-33

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John Cena
AJ Styles
Vince McMahon
WWE Smackdown

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