Shinsuke Nakamura debuted on the WWE main roster on the post-Wrestlemania episode of Smackdown Live, interrupting Miz and Maryse, who were cutting a promo on their match against John Cena and Nikki Bella. Since then, Nakamura's run has been underwhelming, to say the least.
The charismatic King of Strong Style was coming off a fantastic year with WWE NXT, with a great feud with Bobby Roode, to whom he dropped the NXT title before moving to the main roster.
Two underwhelming feuds with Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin later, Nakamura had lost a lot of the charisma and aura surrounding him. While these feuds should have been clean sweeps for Shinsuke, many matches ended in DQs and hard-fought victories which did not put him over as the brutal hard-hitter he was in NXT or NJPW.
After losing to then WWE champion Jinder Mahal for the belt, and being eliminated first in the Survivor Series match, he hasn't even been featured in the last couple of Smackdown Live episodes.
Does Nakamura deserve to win the Rumble given his latest run? Definitely. Let's see why and how a Royal Rumble 2018 victory can and should revive the artist's career in the WWE main roster.
#1 Nakamura has had a clean victory over John Cena
Nakamura defeated John Cena on the August 1st episode of Smackdown Live to become the #1 contender for the WWE Championship.
Irrespective of the outcome of his championship pursuit, very few in the WWE have clean victories over John Cena, and reminding people of this victory through video packages will put him over as a legitimate top-dog of the company.