The main event of the latest NXT live special, Jan. 28’s TakeOver: San Antonio, hinged on a couple injuries to the man who carried the NXT title into that show, Shinsuke Nakamura.
Much to the surprise of his critics, Nakamura went all out in selling damage to his neck/shoulder midway through the match and, more importantly, his Kinshasa-delivering knee during the closing stretch. It was Shinsuke’s inability to fully connect with or follow up on his finisher that created an opening for Bobby Roode to target the wounded appendage and claim the belt in true heel fashion.
While it was an impressive bit of acting in what was one of the best performances of the King of Strong Style’s WWE career, not too many people were convinced it was a “real” injury which could put Swagsuke on the shelf. Speaking for myself, I took the lack of any update over the past week and a half as a sign the incident was just well-executed kayfabe.
Whether that’s always been the case or if there were some behind-the-scenes concerns we didn’t know about, NXT offered the following storyline update this morning:
BREAKING: @WWEPerformCtr staff have evaluated @ShinsukeN and have found no tear in his knee; will not require surgery. pic.twitter.com/DoAGWSYNVO— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 7, 2017
With our non-existent fears that Nakamura could need knee surgery out the way, we can resume wondering how much longer it will be before he’ll follow Samoa Joe to the main roster.