During the 1980s and 1990s, professional wrestling underwent what fans call the “boom period”. Up until this time, many saw professional wrestling as a very niche sport. Sure, those who knew of it absolutely loved wrestling, but the general populus was widely unaware of it. Nevertheless, this period brought about things like Wrestlemania and gave Vince McMahon the ludicrous amount of money that he has today. Now, wrestling reached its peak in the mid-1990s, and has been on a bit of decline since. But is there any hope for another boom period in this day and age? Yes, wrestling fans, there is hope. And his name is Shinsuke Nakamura.
Note: This article is a follow-up to last week’s NXT Recap piece. If you missed it, you can find that article here.
Shinsuke Nakamura Is Key for WWE’s Next Boom Period
Face of NXT
Although he didn’t wrestle last week, Shinsuke Nakamura has become the face of NXT. Since signing Nakamura, WWE has pushed him to the moon. First off, Nakamura’s first match came on a WWE Network exclusive event at NXT Takeover: Dallas. Only six months later, Nakamura receive a title shot for the NXT Championship. Of course, he took advantage and defeated Samoa Joe to take NXT‘s top prize.
Nakamura remained NXT Champion until NXT Takeover: Toronto on November 19th, 2016. When Nakamura lost to Samoa Joe in his first title defense, everyone in the Air Canada Centre collectively gasped. Not only did Joe regain the title that fans thought he never would, but this match signified a very important date in Nakamura’s lifetime. That is, this title match loss was Nakamura’s first televised WWE loss ever. Nakamura regained the title on December 8th, and remained as champion until he lost to Bobby Roode at NXT Takeover: San Antonio. He will get his rematch against Roode on the night before Wrestlemania 33.
Truly, Shinsuke Nakamura has become a mainstay of the yellow brand. However, due to the very nature of NXT, it carries many faces. However, Nakamura has many other qualities to him both as a person and character that make him a great ambassador. While it’s only a matter of time until he moves to the main roster, Nakamura has made an incredible mark on NXT during his time there.
King of Strong Style and King of Babyfaces
Shinsuke Nakamura, simply put, is one of the most likable professional wrestlers of all time. For starters, he’s as charismatic as they come. Nakamura’s in-ring style and mannerisms exude personality, and he has basically won over the world. Not many fans or professional wrestlers themselves dislike Nakamura. Everything about the man screams “lovable babyface”.
As far as his in-ring style goes, Nakamura likes to keep it simple. During his matches, Nakamura’s mind games are both likable and easy to recreate. At times, it seems like he’s just a child in the ring having fun. But then, he hits you with his physical presence. No, he literally hits you.
Nakamura’s in-ring style goes by a term known as “strong style”, and fans love it. Strong style is more stiff than normally wrestling, making it seem strikingly realistic, no pun intended. However, strong style is also usually simpler than normal wrestling, utilizing hand, knee, and foot strikes. Nakamura has gotten this style over in crowds around the world using his beautifully devastating finishing move, the Bomaye Knee. Known as the Kinshasa in WWE, this move is hilariously hard-hitting.
In any case, Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the most over babyfaces in wrestling history. He could be this generation’s staple face character should there be another boom.
All Around the World
For a while now, WWE has been the home of the “home-grown superstar”. However, with Triple H taking more and more control of the company, they have tremendously broadened their horizons. Fortunately for Shinsuke Nakamura, this company-wide eye-opening works wonders for him.
Maybe Nakamura will be a Japanese character that the WWE actually takes seriously. If you need any proof of characters from Japan that they haven’t taken seriously, just look at Yoshi Tatsu. Sure, he was no Nakamura in the WWE, but the WWE used him as a comedy act. However, Nakamura’s stature is one that demands respect from McMahon and company. Additionally, he opens a whole world of possibility for the WWE.
Along with Hideo Itami, Nakamura is a huge draw for the WWE in Japan. If Itami could get healthy and stay that way, the two could have absolute wars in the ring. But that is another story for another time. Nevertheless, Nakamura opens up great amounts of doors for the WWE. Everything about him calls for international respect, and there is no doubt that WWE will give it to him. They have to.
Shinsuke Nakamura is the key to a wrestling boom period in today’s world. Truthfully, he’s got it all. First of all, the WWE wants Nakamura to succeed. At least, they’re booking him like they want him to succeed. Secondly, Nakamura’s style and personality lends itself to being likable by everyone. Sure, English isn’t his native language, but it doesn’t need to be. His in-ring ability speaks for itself. Finally, Shinsuke Nakamura is a name that the world recognizes. In recent years, WWE has seen a bit of a decline in ratings. If they want to get back on track, they already have their savior in their developmental territory. His name is Shinsuke Nakamura, and he is ready to lead WWE into their next Golden Age.