clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Shinsuke Nakamura is just what SmackDown needed

Wedneday’s Rude Awakening includes the importance of Shinsuke Nakamura to Tuesdays, Brock Lesnar rumors, and the debut of Tye Dillinger.

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

* * *

When RAW and SmackDown split into separate brands, there was a clear star power disparity. RAW picked up most of the already established wrestlers in WWE, while SmackDown grabbed a few major talents like John Cena, Becky Lynch, and AJ Styles, with most of the rest of the roster filled with younger wrestlers, misused wrestlers, and those who simply hadn’t received a full opportunity yet. Even at the time, this wasn’t necessarily a negative: SmackDown and RAW both had clear goals in mind, and SmackDown’s was to be a show of opportunity. With Cena leaving to film a movie, though, and his list of opponents only so large given everything he does is such a huge deal at this stage of his career, there was a real void that SmackDown needed to fill. And Shinsuke Nakamura fills it.

The blue brand could not have been any less subtle about their intentions when they had Nakamura interrupt the Miz while Miz, dressed as Cena, was explaining that Cena was going away from SmackDown for a lengthy time. Nakamura is on WWE’s main roster, and was immediately presented as a main event talent by having him show up in front of a post-Mania crowd that would lose themselves in his entrance and the event itself, and during a segment where a former (and maybe future) WWE World Champion was making fun of WWE’s most significant wrestler, Cena.

Combine this with AJ Styles making the case for his staying on SmackDown, Randy Orton now the WWE World Champion, and Miz moving himself back to main event status with his post-draft performance, and Shinsuke Nakamura has plenty of significant talent to strut his stuff against. Maybe SmackDown will be able to pick up Sami Zayn in next week’s Superstar Shakeup, giving us another opportunity to watch those two work their magic in a WWE ring. And that’s not even counting the inevitable showdown of Cena and Nakamura, which is the kind of match that would main event any show in the world.

Yeah, SmackDown is the place for Nakamura. And that will make SmackDown must-watch for plenty of fans worldwide.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats