In a long overdue move, Shinsuke Nakamura is finally on the WWE main roster. Nakamura debuted on the post-WrestleMania edition SmackDown last night following a segment involving The Miz and Maryse.
As the couple was finishing up their mockery of John Cena and Nikki Bella, a violinist was in the aisle way and Nakamura came out to a huge reaction. He did his signature poses in the ring without speaking a word to the audience tunes of “NA-KA-MURA.”
Nakamura’s promotion to the main roster has been rumored for some time with many pegging this week as the launching point. The former two-time NXT champion lost his championship rematch against Bobby Roode at NXT TakeOver Orlando this past Saturday.
The off air curtain call he received after the match along with a Tweet from Nakamura saying “Finished” strongly hinted at his inevitable main roster début. Nakamura was dubbed the “King of Strong Style” upon his arrival in NXT and a new t-shirt titled “The Vibe” was released over the weekend, which could hint to a new main roster new nickname.
Nakamura signed with WWE in early 2016 and came over from New Japan Pro Wrestling where he was one of their biggest stars. It’s rare for a major Japanese name to leave their home promotion for full-time employment with an American company.
The Great Muta, Masahiro Chono, and Jushin Liger wrestled for WCW due to a working arrangement with NJPW. However, when WCW offered them lucrative contracts to jump ship, they remained loyal to New Japan.
Depending on who you talk to, Shinsuke Nakamura was the number two or three guy in New Japan. Hiroshi Tanahashi occupied the top spot while Kazuchika Okada danced back and forth with Nakamura in the number two position. From a pecking order perspective, think John Cena, Roman Reigns, and Randy Orton today in WWE for comparison
Nakamura very well might have been the most popular wrestler in New Japan and through his work, gained a status of perhaps being the best worker in the industry and certainly the most charismatic. He seems tailor-made for American pro wrestling, but it was assumed he would stay in Japan until he decided to search for a bigger stage.
New Japan often has the best wrestling around, however, WWE is the industry leader. There is no other company that can make someone a worldwide superstar. Vince had to of paid him a lot of money to get him to leave a sure thing with New Japan. Hopefully, this is an investment that isn’t squandered as Nakamura has the tools to truly be one of the all-time greats.