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4 ways WWE can rebuild Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura is a once-in-a-lifetime Superstar
Shinsuke Nakamura is a once-in-a-lifetime Superstar

Shinsuke Nakamura was built as a top-tier Superstar and a massive attraction in his early beginnings in WWE, especially during his days on NXT.

However, his main roster run has been somewhat underwhelming. He has tasted gold, including two Intercontinental Championship and US Championship reigns. Unfortunately, Nakamura has surprisingly never won a world title and has been a perennial mid-carder for much of his run.

Luckily for his fans, Triple H is now in complete creative control and could look to push the former NXT Champion. Here are five ways WWE could revamp Nakamura.

Also Read: Who is Shinsuke Nakamura's wife?


#4 Shinsuke Nakamura can rebuild himself on NXT

I came to @WWE as @WWENXT. I wanted to spread a message of art through wrestling. Very excited for all. @usa_network https://t.co/ijXJtLhbCK

As mentioned previously, Shinsuke Nakamura was a massive star on NXT, perhaps the brand's biggest attraction during his time there. The classics he had with Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, and Robert Roode (then known as Bobby Roode) put him on the map.

The former IC Champion can relive his glory days on the black-and-gold brand again if he is sent back to NXT. This shouldn't be seen as a demotion because it will help revive his career.

For example, Finn Balor's impressive second run on NXT brought his career back on track. Apollo Crews floundered on the main roster, but he is doing much better on the development brand now.

Nakamura could benefit from another short stint on the black-and-gold brand. Another NXT Title reign or one with the North American Championship may be on the cards. A feud with Bron Breaker and Tyler Bate would also prove intriguing. It may be a risk, but it could be worth the effort.


#3 Another full-fledged heel turn may revive Shinsuke Nakamura's WWE career

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Fans will hardly forget Shinsuke Nakamura's unexpected heel turn at WrestleMania 34. The 2018 Royal Rumble winner was unsuccessful in claiming the WWE Championship from AJ Styles in an underwhelming dream match.

The problem was that the turn was poorly executed, and the aftermath did him no favors. The King of Strong Style struck AJ with a massive low blow that resonated through The Mercedez-Benz Superdome.

The most unfortunate part was that his antics couldn't win him the WWE Championship, rendering his heel turn useless. The Artist won the US Championship in July 2018 with the help of a low blow, but that was underwhelming too.

When executed to perfection, heel turns and character changes can do wonders for WWE Superstars. Seth Rollins reached tremendous heights when he betrayed his Shield brethren to join The Authority. Roman Reigns became sports-entertainment's biggest star when he turned heel to become The Tribal Chief and The Head of The Table.

Nakamura may need another heel turn that doesn't involve tactics like low blows. Building him as a vicious heel with a mean streak is a much better option.


#2 Shinsuke Nakamura needs a good Intercontinental Championship reign

Shinsuke Nakamura won the IC Title in August.In the 93 days since winning the title, he has defended it a total of ONE single time on WWE TV.Why do they always book his IC/US Title runs so awfully? https://t.co/3nv7AFse1u

Shinsuke Nakamura is a two-time Intercontinental Champion, but his reigns were underwhelming. He first won the title at Extreme Rules 2019 from Finn Balor on the pre-show, a colossal step-down for both men.

Nakamura held the belt for over two hundred days, but he seldom defended it. His most notable title defense was against The Miz at Clash of Champions. The King of Strong Style lost matches like The Triple Threat Match featuring Roderick Strong and AJ Styles at Survivor Series. He eventually lost the championship to Braun Strowman in January 2020.

The Artist won the IC Championship again in August 2021 from Apollo Crews. He only defended the title successfully once against Crews before losing it to Sami Zayn in March this year. Not once was the championship defended at a premium live event. Nakamura's Champion vs. Champion match at Survivor Series with Damian Priest was shifted to the pre-show.

Both of his reigns were forgettable, but the IC Title has elevated many careers in the past. Current champion Gunther has brought some prestige to the title with his dominant run. Edge, Triple H, and The Rock were all outstanding IC Champions before they reached the top of the mountain.


#1 Shinsuke Nakamura could dethrone Roman Reigns

This has been said repeatedly, and it feels more powerful each time: Roman Reigns is arguably the biggest star in sports entertainment today and has become "The Guy" to beat.

While most people would handpick The Rock or Cody Rhodes to finish The Tribal Chief's reign of terror, The King of Strong Style would be far from the worst option. WWE has teased Reigns vs. Nakamura, but nothing substantial has come of it yet.

On the first SmackDown after WrestleMania 38, The Artist interrupted The Head of The Table but was met with a Double Superkick by The Usos. WWE never followed up on that angle, but Shinsuke Nakamura took shots at Reigns in backstage interviews.

The quickest and most emphatic way to rebuild Nakamura as a top-tier talent is to let him dethrone Reigns, probably at WrestleMania 39. Another Rumble victory would be an intelligent way to book the match, but he needs to pin The Tribal Chief.

Although unlikely, it is a brilliant way of making Shinsuke Nakamura the top star his fans always wanted him to become.

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Edited by Angana Roy
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