Damien Barling: The King Of…

Shinsuke Nakamura made his long awaited debut on the WWE main roster on the latest addition of Smackdown Live. For many, it was their first opportunity to see the guy who many consider the greatest professional wrestler in the entire world.

He didn’t wrestle. He didn’t speak. He walked out to a dramatic rendition of his theme song, sung in unison by the sold out crowd at at the Amway Center in Orlando. He did his signature pose. Music hit again. Crowd sang. He left. It was perfect.

If you’re not familiar with Nakamura you’ll soon find you’re watching the most charismatic superstar the WWE has seen since The Rock. As always, Nakamura’s success will be based on what WWE does with him on television. His matches are, and will be, second to none. Putting him on one brand and AJ Styles on the other would assure you have a guy on each show who can have an incredible match with anyone on the roster (see AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon).

Nakamura can speak English. It’s fluent but broken. He’s soft spoken. He doesn’t scream when he cuts a promo and that will be the key. Don’t force him into a position in which he can’t succeed. Most guys could cut a great promo for 2-3 minutes. WWE has the tendency to march guys out there and ask them to open Raw with a 10 minute promo. That works for John Cena and maybe a few others. It doesn’t work for Reigns. It doesn’t work for Rollins. It wont work for Shinsuke Nakamura.

Nakamura was one of the most decorated stars in New Japan Pro Wrestling before signing with WWE/NXT. His debut on NXT television came in the form of a short static filled video that saw him challenge Sami Zynn to a match at TakeOver: Dallas prior to Wrestlemania 32.

For a year speculation had been about when Nakamura would debut on the main roster. After a couple of runs as NXT champion that speculation is finally over.

From his outfits to his movements you may notice Nakamura is heavily influenced by Michael Jackson. The dramatic pauses, the long poses, making the crowd build its anticipation are all trademarks of the King of Pop. Even his nickname, the King of Strong Style, was influenced by MJ. You’ll notice many Thriller and Beat It like outfits and a hair style that’s reminiscent of the Bad era.

The weeks following Wrestlemania can be a very exciting time. The Revival debuted Monday, Tye Dillinger on Tuesday, the Hardy Boyz are back, new programs are being set up, and there’s a “Superstar Shake-Up” coming on Monday. But no change, addition, or shake up is more exciting then the arrival of Shinsuke Nakamura. With Monday Night Raw at the Golden One Center May 1st, here’s hoping the King of Strong Style is a part of the red roster.

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