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  1. #41
    Is he even on the card?

    I'm assuming since the IC title isn't being defended then they figured the US Title should get the same treatment. It doesn't make sense to me, but WWE tends to do that with respective titles.

  2. #42
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    It is weird that he beat Jeff Hardy for the title and seemed to be in a feud with him only for Orton to take his dance partner. It is a shame Roode isn’t still in the Smackdown midcard scene, they had such a good NXT feud.

  3. #43
    Nope, he has no opponent at HIAC.

  4. #44
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    I'm wondering if they regret turning him heel. I mean, he has no one to feud with on SD unless its Hardy or Rusev. Bryan is too high on the card to feud for the US title.

  5. #45
    Can't imagine they think putting him with Orton and Hardy is a great idea, given how interesting both of them are.....

  6. #46
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Almost everything out there about Nak now is either he is failing, or how they can still save him, or talk about him going back to Japan...

    Pretty scathing indictment of the way he has been handled.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #47
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Yeah, it hasn't been ideal. Of anything that 'dream' program with AJ Styles was a curse, theybcoukd never live up to the expectation they set at Wrestle Kingdom and then he losing multiple times really tuned down the danger he possessed.

    If the WWE was more open to heel v heel matches it would be cool to see his current character against guys like Orton and Joe but sadly they aren't into badass v badass.

  8. #48
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    We left this thread with him maybe going back to Japan, but it sounds like he may have signed a new deal, and potentially quite a healthy one, with the WWE.

    Given the way that they have used him in the past year I wonder if this is them just wanting to keep whatever talent they can under contract, given the shifting landscape.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #49
    Well if you are happy to pick up a paycheck for not doing much, why not

  10. #50
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    Makes some sense. Nakamura's probably one of a few guys on the roster with the credibility in the bank move the needle for an AEW, and he could very easily go back to NJPW too.

  11. #51
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I was just watching TV when all of a sudden Nakamura appeared on an instant noodles commercial:



    Sadly, this is the most I've seen of Nakamura in months.

  12. #52
    The Brain
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    I was just going to say, at least he got some action on TV! No idea what the guy is up to now, he's completely off everyone's radar now which is nuts compared to just 2-3 years ago.

  13. #53
    Transgender Terror
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    Let's kick him in the nuts.

  14. #54
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    Who is this guy again?

  15. #55
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I had to do some research on Cagematch to see if he was injured or something, but he isn't. His last TV appearance was on April 23 when he had a match against Kofi. He also made an appearance on that 50-man battle royal in Saudi Arabia.

    Besides that it's just been him doing house shows - and losing every single one of them. The last time Nakamura won a match? February 12 at a house show, and February 5th on Smackdown, both while teaming with Rusev in insignificant matches. His last singles win was when he beat Rusev for the U.S. championship at the Royal Rumble Kickoff show which he lost two days later to R-Truth anyway.

    I knew he was not being used all that much, but after reading all of that, what in the fucking hell happened? There has to be more than meets the eye here, because it's criminal how his career has just died like that.

  16. #56
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    He's a tough talent for WWE to book for. And before anyone says how much better he would be treated elsewhere, please re-read what I stated. He's tough for WWE to book for. And I am definitely not agreeing with their decision, but I feel explain it.

    As international as WWE are, they are mostly English speaking, and while I scoff at claims of racism when deciding who is at the top of the company, I do know that Vince has purposely pushed English speaking champions since his takeover of WWF. There are exceptions, but they always had English speaking representatives/managers. Other than a very select few, that's no longer an option apparently. So today, it tougher to have someone like Shinsuke be at the top of the card.

    And I know everyone will be quick to pitch ideas, but none of them will be as simple as using someone English speaking in that position instead.

    Also, being off TV is not the curse IWC fans claim it to be. If he's not on TV for 2 months, then he can be brought back at any time with anything to use as a push. Rusev and Nak can ambush Heavy Machinery next week with Zelina Vega and Lana in tow as their managers, and they can be in the SD title scene immediately. BEcause being off TV is WAY better than losing on TV.

    Will WWE do the above idea? Probably not. But if there are genuine plans to open up NXT Japan soon, then Shinsuke will likely be part of that.


    By the way, no one was more excited for the debut of Shinsuke in NXT/WWE than me. I too am disappointed he's not used more. But I do understand that the WWE roster is so f'n packed, that I understand why they chose to go with someone else.

  17. #57
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I agree with most of that. While his English is passable, I'm certain it's one of the things holding him back. Even with managers, that still holds a lot of people back (like the teaming of Asuka / Kairi / Paige). I don't like it but it is what it is. He could easily be slotted into something. He's currently working house shows against Finn Balor (another person who's mostly M.I.A.) so maybe they're prepping for an Intercontinental Championship feud or something. At least I hope.

    What I still don't understand is how can a guy go from winning a Royal Rumble to not being on TV in the span of a little over a year. They soured on him really quick. It just feels like there's something else happening besides this speculation.

  18. #58
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    His feud and matches with AJ I think disappointed the boss I think. Pure speculation on my part, but its clear that AJ is a guy Vince likes and he probably sells merch to support that. Whereas Nakamura had all this fan support, coming from Japan, NXT... etc and it didn't click with Vince. Maybe that's because of the language barrier but it could be that Vince soured on Nakamura as a performer.. Plus he's got English speaking heels, younger guys like Andrade too.

    As for myself, I haven't felt hyped for anything Nakamura did since his NXT Run.

  19. #59
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I wonder if he was hyped too heavily backstage and it backfired. I think it was Bruce Prichard on his podcast who mentioned that sometimes if you push for someone too much, it won't be long before people get sick and tired of it and go the opposite direction.

    I felt the beginning of the AJ / Nakamura feud was good. Granted, it had a ton of hype around it based on their last New Japan match and it didn't deliver up to that incredibly high bar, but it was still decent to start leading up to Wrestlemania. The heel turn and feud focusing on ball shots just made the whole thing fall apart quick, especially since they had so many consecutive matches in a row with A.J. always coming out on top.

    Actually, I just remembered that long feud against Jinder Mahal when Mahal was the champ and he always lost, so they were probably low on him from the get-go.

  20. #60
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    I was never the biggest Nakamura fan in NJPW but when he signed, I thought certain little things would work if they put focus on it... like his entrance they did correct but his YEAOH! didn't translate as well as I thought it should have or could have. Also, because of the wear and tear on his body, I would have treated him differently and not used him to wrestle TV matches... if he had to have them, make em quick. Treat him like a Brock type.

    Too many guys on the roster are expected to wrestle a certain way, for a certain time. Something that I think effects Samoa Joe poorly but that's another topic.

  21. #61
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    I like how you guys are ignoring a potential obvious reason for why he's off TV. No one knows when Nakamura's contract is up exactly but the expiration date is happening shortly and nothing I've seen suggests that he has actually re-signed. There certainly has been no confirmation of that like there has been for the Bennett's and Mojo Rawley. Now it was well known he wasn't going to leave because he preferred to stay in the states as opposed to going back to New Japan, but that was before AEW appeared. Since that happened, and since AEW is based in the states, the buzz has been more up in the air about Nakamura's future. I'm not saying 100% (or even 50%) saying he's going to AEW, but the possibility exists and the fact that he hasn't been around recently seems to indicate that's at least something to keep in mind.


  22. #62
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Last I heard he was on the verge of extending, did nothing come of that then?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  23. #63
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    The latest on Nakamura, according to Big Dave on May 27th, was that his status was unclear, which seems to indicate no deal. But the whole thing is tricky because no one seems to know when his deal expires. Earlier reports suggested February but that came and went with no news of a re-signing, which you'd think would've gotten out given that the news of Bryan, AJ, the Bennett's and now Mojo re-signing did. Later it was indicated in April that Nakamura was going to be staying, but once again we never heard anything concrete about him re-signing then. So who knows? My guess is that he probably will remain in WWE and that what you're seeing with him is more Nakamura being "checked out" (which has been rumored for quite awhile) and WWE using him accordingly. But the fact that we know his deal is supposed to be up sometime this year and he's now suddenly disappeared off TV in the past two months (though he did work house shows and the Saudi show) does seem curious. You also have to remember that the reason no one thought Nakamura would leave originally was because he liked it in the States and didn't want to move his family back to Japan. AEW wouldn't require him to leave the US and can offer him good money, which could definitely put him in play for them. And that's before you consider how much AEW will want to run Omega vs. Nakamura; even if Nakamura is checked out or in decline, you can't tell me most fans wouldn't be up for that.

    Again, I'm not saying this is the case or that Nakamura is leaving. I'm just saying the scenario cannot be discounted.


  24. #64
    Transgender Terror
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    I signed him to a WCW Legends deal.

  25. #65
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    I'm quite confident the extension was signed months ago, and as usual, big dave is only pushing a one note story. I believe nothing of this supposed "plans change, who knows?" update.

  26. #66
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    See he's been working with Balor for the IC title on the house show circuit, which might suggest something in the pipeline I suppose.

  27. #67
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Here's a recent comment from him on his position in WWE. Read into it what you will.

    "Since I became a professional wrestler when I was 22 years old, I was able to come here without looking back," Nakamura said [translated from Japanese to English]. "In 2015, there was a feeling that I had done in the Japanese ring, and I still wanted to keep trying. As the next step, we aim to raise one step further, and take one step to the area we have not touched before. The place for the challenge was WWE. Even now, the situation changes daily, and my position is up and down everyday, and I am living with it."

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  28. #68
    Nakamara has been badly misused. Hopefully he can get an IC title run, soon. I was hoping that he'd end up on Raw for a fresh start, but no such luck.

  29. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Here's a recent comment from him on his position in WWE. Read into it what you will.
    I'm excited for Finn vs Shinsuke for the IC title. Should be a great match up with natural chemistry.

  30. #70
    Have they gone against each other in any other promotion (except NXT)?

  31. #71
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeLostInRewind View Post
    Have they gone against each other in any other promotion (except NXT)?
    Looks like they faced each other once during the 2014 New Japan Cup, which is the only result that pops up for me outside of WWE and NXT.

    I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Intercontinental Championship match between them. Both guys have been pushed aside on TV for far too long, hope they get a chance to put on a good program with each other.

  32. #72
    I'm going to have to check that out, then. It's a shame they weren't shown on TV tonight.

  33. #73
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Nakamura finally made his way back on TV this week by defeating Finn Balor in a non-title match. It was good to see him (and Balor) in a straight-up wrestling match again. I really enjoyed it. I'm guessing this paves the way for them facing each other for the Intercontinental title at Extreme Rules. I'm pulling for a Nakamura win since the announcers were putting him over quite a bit, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did the same ol' 50-50 booking crap and have Balor get his win at that show to retain.

  34. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post
    Nakamura finally made his way back on TV this week by defeating Finn Balor in a non-title match. It was good to see him (and Balor) in a straight-up wrestling match again. I really enjoyed it. I'm guessing this paves the way for them facing each other for the Intercontinental title at Extreme Rules. I'm pulling for a Nakamura win since the announcers were putting him over quite a bit, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did the same ol' 50-50 booking crap and have Balor get his win at that show to retain.
    They will not be facing off at extreme rules according to the main page. There was talk about adding The Iiconics vs sane/asuka for the womens tag titles and nakamara vs balor for the IC title at extreme rules, but was ultimately nixed. There's already 10 matches on the Extreme rules card. My bet is we will see the IC title match happen on an episode of Smackdown or at Summerslam (possibly both) if it happens at all.

  35. #75
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    I expect them to be on the SummerSlam card. Slam tends to be a card where they have more of the matches aimed for quality action than other shows, and they've been booking the main PPVs longer than the standard 3 hours. So the IC title match would be a great opening match for the show.

  36. #76
    and they made me look like a liar. At least Nakamara won the belt. Let's hope this reign goes better than his United States title one.

  37. #77
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quick look at the Balor thread suggested that although he had one of the longer reigns for a while, that it didn't really count for very much. Are they going to get more out of Shinsuke holding the title, or is this going to be another busted flush?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  38. #78
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    Another forum that I frequent, someone was complaining about the US title not being defended at SummerSlam, and my first thought was “But that AJ/Ricochet match was pretty good. You must be thinking of the IC title.” And then it took me a good two or three days to remember who actually had the IC title, so... it can’t be off to a good start, huh?

  39. #79
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    I think the expectation for all these titles and upper midcard guys to be on TV weekly is ridiculous. WWE's roster is so massive that not everyone can be on TV or PPV. You know who else wasn't on Summerslam? Roman Reigns, Braun Strwoman, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Rey Mysterio...etc.

    The IC title and Shinsuke are fine. If they handle it the same way they did his US title run, then these concerns will be warranted. But he had a great reinvention to earn the title, and there seemed to be an angle with Ali that was used for Smackville not long ago.

  40. #80
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    Sami Zayn is one of the most overrated in ring workers WWE has, but I'm liking the idea of him being a Roddy Piper to Shinsuke's Orndorff/Orton. An eventual tag team wouldn't be awful either.

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