In some very interesting WWE news, former WWE manager and professional wrestling legend Jim Cornette was talking on his podcast, The Jim Cornette Experience, about new WWE NXT star Shinsuke Nakamura. Cornette was impressed with what he saw in Nakamura and indicated that Shinsuke would be an instant star in NXT while he is wrestling there. However, Rajah.com reported on Sunday that Cornette also added that Nakamura’s WWE main roster future might feature a huge pitfall for the star.
Cornette rightly pointed out Shinsuke’s natural charisma and the excitement of his in-ring skills, but he then pointed out the fact that the track record for foreign stars in the WWE is very limited. One big name that Cornette mentioned was William Regal, a European star who came to the WWE with a great track record and then was pushed into ridiculous gimmick matches and jobbed out to just about everyone.
Regal is now a major talent for the WWE in NXT as the on-screen man in charge, but it took a long time for McMahon to take him seriously. Even more damaging is McMahon’s track record with Japanese talent. Cornette talked about what the WWE has done with Japanese wrestlers in the past and said that if he throws Nakamura into a skit as a Chinese delivery man or something like that, it will kill Shinsuke’s push.
Before anyone thinks that the WWE wouldn’t do something like that with Shinsuke, Cornette pointed out an example. AAA promoter Antonio Pena used to work with the WWE and would send some of his stars over to work in the WWE.
“Well, at one point, Vince also says, ‘well, while they’re here,’ apparently, he started penciling these guys that Peña would bring up to feature on the Super Astros show in on like Shotgun Saturday Night, I don’t know what, the B-show or whatever, something on Sunday Night Heat, and he was going to beat them with like an undercard WWF guy.”
One of those wrestlers was Pena’s AAA champion, and Cornette claims that McMahon planned to throw the champion onto the B-show and have him lose to a WWE mid-card talent. He said that McMahon didn’t even realize what he was doing until Cornette pointed out that this wrestler was the AAA champion and shouldn’t be treated like that.
It is even more important when it comes to Nakamura is to look at recent foreign stars in the WWE. Kai En Tai featured major Japanese stars like Taka Michinoku, Sho Funaki, and more, and they were put into a gimmick that made fun of lip synching in Asian movies with their “Indeed” gimmick as well as a very offensive Asian promo with Val Venis making fun of Japanese customs. The Mexicools took Mexican luchador stars Super Crazy and Psicosis and had them ride to the ring on lawnmowers before their matches.
Wrestle Zone reported that Jim Cornette said that the only way that Shinsuke Nakamura will move up from NXT and get over in the WWE is if they don’t stereotype Nakamura in a foreign gimmick and just let Shinsuke’s talent and charisma win over. According to Cornette, that all depends on Vince.
“His success on the main roster depends on the chairman, as [Jim Ross] says, how Vince McMahon sees him in pretty much, the long run … because he doesn’t understand how big or who the guy was in his culture, then, that could derail things.”
It is also scary to see how the success of NXT wrestlers has not really translated well to the WWE main roster. The Shield, The Wyatt Family, and Kevin Owens have been the biggest names to succeed from NXT. However, add in former NXT stars like Fandango, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, and Tyler Breeze, and there are a lot of examples of guys who got over in NXT only to come to the main roster and immediately became jobbers. That is a scary possibility for Shinsuke.
When it comes to NXT, fans love the brand and the wrestlers there, but when it comes to the WWE main roster, they quickly lose interest in the wrestlers because of the way the wrestlers are pushed, and that falls on the creative writing staff. If Shinsuke Nakamura wants to succeed in the WWE, Shinsuke needs to be allowed to control his own character and path, otherwise, Nakamura will end up being a huge disappointment, and Jim Cornette has plenty of examples of that.
[Image via WWE]