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On Shinsuke Nakamura's main roster WWE prospects given Vince McMahon's history of booking international stars

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There's an interesting quote making the rounds, from Jim Cornette's appearance last week on Jim Ross' podcast The Ross Report, where Corny offers his thoughts on Shinsuke Nakamura in the WWE.

Recognizing the Japanese wrestler's charisma, the industry veteran is bullish on Nakamura's prospects - as long as he's in NXT. Once he's called up to the main roster, Cornette isn't as confident - because of Vince McMahon's poor track record marketing international talent:

Here's the quote (H/T: Wrestling Inc for transcription):

I think it comes down to he will be a superstar in NXT and people are going to love him whenever he appears with that brand.

And when he gets to the main roster, I've got to be honest with you, I think it depends on how Vince sees him. Obviously, everything [in WWE] depends on how Vince sees something, but he hasn't had the best track record, and I'll tell you, it's not a racist thing with international stars, whether it be luchadores, whether it be Japanese talent, [or] whether it be anybody from Europe. Sometimes, the chairman does not understand what they have meant to their world because he's so isolated in his and he tries, possibly, to remake them in the image that he perceives for them. That may not work.

I think a guy like Nakamura's another guy like [Steve] Austin and Brock [Lesnar] and essentially the more he's himself and he's allowed to do his thing, the better off he'll be.

Personally, I'm optimistic regarding Nakamura based on what we've seen with AJ Styles. No, Styles is obviously not an "international" talent (in the sense Cornette means), but he's shown Vince he doesn't need to re-create everyone who walks through the door. He can profit from the character and brand performers have developed prior to working for WWE. Especially if Shinsuke is selling tickets and merchandise before he's promoted, I think there's a decent chance McMahon leaves him alone - or at least a better chance than I would have given a year ago.

The amazing thing about Cornette's quote is his pre-emptively dismissing arguments that WWE's booking of Latino, Hispanic, Asian or European stars is racist.

Now, I've never met either man, so I'm not going to label them. But when you say that Vince's stereotypical booking of performers who aren't white North Americans is a result of his being ignorant of the culture which made them stars, which in turn leads him to portray them as fitting into his affluent white male worldview of what those cultures consist of... I'm pretty sure that's racist. And Corny's attempt to make sure it isn't categorized as such is white-splaining away racism.

It might be passive, or a result of laziness more than hatred, but it's not humanist.

Luckily, one thing we can be pretty sure McMahon has is a profit motive. And Shinsuke is a savvy operator in that area, as well. There's a lot of money for both men to make by not turning Nakamura into the mist-spewing butt of broken English jokes.

Plus, they already seem to have found some common ground, as Enuhito's translation of a quote about what happened after his TakeOver: Dallas debut indicates:

Considering some stars say they worked in NXT for a while before meeting McMahon, that's got to be a good sign. And, WWE recently announced he's headlining the main roster tour of his home country - a key market for Vince and especially his streaming Network:

Whether or not there's racism at play, or the roots of it, there are signs Swagsuke could be the star too big to get shoehorned into one of Vince's stereotypical foreigner gimmicks.

Your thoughts on Nakamura's main roster future, Cagesiders?

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