Shinsuke Nakamura was a huge star for the WWE in its NXT brand but there was a lot of fans wondering if his popularity would translate to the main roster. When Shinsuke made his main roster debut on the SmackDown Live following WrestleMania 33, it was only a slight surprise but the reaction he got from the post-WrestleMania crowd was huge.
According to Cageside Seats, the arrival of Shinsuke Nakamura was due to the fact that John Cena was taking the next two months off to shoot a new movie called The Pact and SmackDown Live needed a new top star to replace Cena on the show.
That makes sense but there is also the news this last week that Vince McMahon came out on Monday Night Raw last week and announced that there would be a WWE roster shake-up this next week, and that means that some major stars might change shows, including a rumored Roman Reigns-move to SmackDown Live.
If the idea that Shinsuke Nakamura came to SmackDown Live because they needed a replacement for John Cena, it could also easily have been accomplished through the roster shake-up. There might be an even better reason for the arrival of Nakamura to SmackDown Live.
Before NXT TakeOver: Orlando, Shinsuke Nakamura was asked if he wanted to go to Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live. Shinsuke said it didn’t matter to him because there were dream matches on both shows for him. On Monday Night Raw, he could rekindle is Japanese feud with Finn Balor or wrestle Cesaro or Samoa Joe again.
However, Shinsuke Nakamura was adamant that there were big matches on SmackDown Live that he would love to take part in. He specifically mentioned AJ Styles. The two men worked in New Japan Professional Wrestling together and had big matches there but both men have said they would love to put on a show in a WWE ring against each other.
Shinsuke Nakamura also mentioned wrestling John Cena and Randy Orton, although there are big WWE rumors that Cena could be one of the names headed to Monday Night Raw in the WWE roster shake-up. If John Cena is headed to Raw, where a part-time star might work better than on SmackDown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura would, in fact, be a replacement for Cena.
Another thought is that Roman Reigns could be headed for SmackDown Live. Even if Roman does not turn heel, he proved with men like Finn Balor that he was willing to put over young talent and could have big matches against almost anyone. A Roman Reigns vs. Shinsuke Nakamura feud could be a big way to get Nakamura over with the WWE fans.
If the WWE decides to move The Club (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) to SmackDown Live and have them re-team with AJ Styles, that could also set up a very familiar feud with Nakamura. The Bullet Club had a number of big matches with Shinsuke in NJPW and they are all familiar with each other.
Earlier in the week, Cageside Seats reported that the first feud for Shinsuke Nakamura will likely be against The Miz. That is because he made his SmackDown Live debut after The Miz cut a big promo making fun of John Cena. If Shinsuke starts to feud with The Miz, now that Cena is gone, Nakamura would literally be a replacement for John in the WWE.
There are a lot of rumors going around the WWE concerning the roster brand-split and one of them has to surround The Miz as well. Daniel Bryan has feuded with The Miz ever since the WWE draft and would likely love to get Miz off his show. However, their feud is too popular and Shinsuke Nakamura might be the next person that Bryan sends after The Miz now that John Cena is gone.
[Featured Image by WWE]