Shinsuke Nakamura recently won back the NXT Championship, which he lost to Samoa Joe back at NXT Takeover: Toronto, and now it looks like Samoa Joe will finally get called up to the WWE main roster, thus putting an end to the Joe vs. Nakamura feud.
The question remains: What’s next for Nakamura? According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the answer to that question is Bobby Roode.
“I think [Samoa Joe] is going up to the main roster, because they’re gonna show the cage match this week, and he loses the cage match. So that’s two straight losses, and Bobby Roode vs. Nakamura is the new main event program, so there’s nothing left for Joe, and there’s no reason for him to stay down.”
Of course, WWE could throw us a curve ball, and insert Samoa Joe into the Bobby Roode vs. Nakamura title program, but that doesn’t seem likely.
Since coming to NXT earlier this year, Bobby Roode has gotten more over with the fans than he did during his entire run in TNA/Impact Wrestling. In fact, aside from Nakamura, he’s probably the most popular guy on the entire NXT roster.
Now, with Joe presumably going up to the main roster, when will Nakamura follow suit? He’s been ready to go up to the main roster ever since he debuted back at NXT Takeover: Dallas, but WWE has kept him down in NXT, as they want him to be the face of the promotion, much like Finn Balor was before he was called up over the summer.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE is aggressively pursuing all independent stars who are currently free agents, so they’re clearly looking to stack the NXT brand with popular indy stars. If they end up getting most of the people they’re pursuing, they may feel comfortable enough to move Nakamura up to the main roster, as they’ll then have suitable replacements.
We’ll probably know what WWE’s plans for Nakamura are following the upcoming NXT Takeover: San Antonio event, which is where Nakamura will defend the NXT Championship against Bobby Roode. If Nakamura loses, then that’ll probably mean WWE is looking to call him up to the main roster at some point in the near future. If he wins, then he’ll probably be staying down in WWE’s developmental territory for quite a bit longer.
WWE does tend to leave guys down in NXT for too long, as stars like Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Neville, Charlotte, Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks were all called up long after they were ready. So, it’s not unrealistic to expect that they’ll leave both Nakamura and Roode down in NXT for another year or so.
The next episode of WWE NXT — which will air on the WWE Network on Wednesday — will show the recent cage match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe, where Nakamura successfully retained his title. So don’t expect to see the Nakamura vs. Roode feud kick off until next week.
Even though he’s clearly ready to be a part of WWE’s main roster, Shinsuke Nakamura hasn’t expressed any displeasure with still being down in NXT. So, he’s not really pushing for a call-up. Does that mean that WWE will leave him down there for the next year? Probably not, but you never know.
As of right now, the NXT Takeover: San Antonio event will be headlined by Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode, and rumor has it that it’ll feature matches like Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Authors of Pain and Asuka vs. Ember Moon.
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