WWE Hall Of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin was not a fan of Shinsuke Nakamura's in-ring WWE main roster debut.
Nakamura took on Dolph Ziggler at the SmackDown Live exclusive pay-per-view (PPV) Backlash last weekend in Chicago, and it was "The Master Of Strong Style's" first match on the WWE main roster. The former NXT Champ made his SmackDown Live debut right after WrestleMania 33 but had yet to step inside the squared circle until this past Sunday.
For weeks Ziggler and Nakamura were building up quite a feud prior to their clash at Backlash, with Ziggler making light of the Japan native's accomplishments inside the industry, and underestimating him seeing has he had yet to compete on SmackDown for a few weeks since making his debut.
Ziggler got a rude awakening Sunday night, however, as he fell victim to the 37-year-old in the opening match of the night, giving the former New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) star his first victory on the WWE's main roster. While fans were still behind Nakamura after the match, the overall sentiment on social media was that the match was a bit of a dud - and Stone Cold shared those sentiments.
Austin was recently a guest on Wade Keller’s PW Torch Livecast, and stated that he was less than satisfied with the bout when it was all said and done (quotes via IWNerd):
“First of all, let me go on record to say that I respect the ability of both guys in the ring. Dolph Ziggler can work his a** off, as well as Shinsuke.
"The way the match was presented to me, from what I wanted to see out of Nakamura, the match in of itself had some really nice moments, and nice sequences and exchanges of offense, but I just thought that the sense of urgency and pacing of the match was just too slow of what it needed to accomplish, which is to light Shinsuke’s a** up and let everyone know that he is a player, he is a superstar, he has this charisma, but he’s nothing like Great Muta or Kabuki from back in the day—he can deliver that, he just doesn’t do it enough.
"A little too much of no sense of urgency in the match and just drawing things out; I was just disappointed in that regard”
“If you look at the match and how it was put together nice match, but I just thought that Dolph needs more malice behind his offense, and the point of Shinsuke, you know what he can do, but he just doesn’t do enough of it.
"He panders to that crowd; hey, the crowd came for him. After that match was over they gave him a standing ovation, so maybe I am the only guy that thinks this.
"The Chicago crowd is off the charts 9 times out of 10 was truly appreciative of the effort put forth. Again, I was critical of the match in of itself a good match you can say, but did it accomplish what it needed to in order to light Shinsuke’s a** up?
"No, and I think that is on him and whoever put that match together”
What are your thoughts on Austin's comments regarding Ziggler and Nakamura's match at Backlash? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
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