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5 Reasons why WWE split up Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura

Danny Hart
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
11.05K   //    11 Jul 2019, 23:00 IST

Shinsuke Nakamura confirmed the end of the tag team
Shinsuke Nakamura confirmed the end of the tag team

From January 2019 to April 2019, the duo of Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura featured regularly as a tag team on WWE SmackDown Live in the build-up to WrestleMania 35.

Although both men had been given a better spotlight as singles stars at past WrestleManias, with Rusev facing John Cena in 2015 and Nakamura facing AJ Styles in 2018, it was still somewhat impressive that the former rivals teamed together at WWE’s biggest show of the year within 10 weeks of forming an alliance.

Following WrestleMania 35, where they lost a Fatal 4-Way match for The Usos’ SmackDown Tag Team titles, it looked as though the tag team would continue after they joined forces with Andrade on April 9 and Cesaro on April 16 to take part in six-man tag matches on SmackDown Live.

However, after both Superstars disappeared from WWE television for over two months, Nakamura confirmed the end of their partnership this week before his match against Finn Balor.

“No more tag team. Me alone, I strike fear.”

With the tag team now officially over, let’s take a look at five reasons why WWE decided to split up “The Bulgarian Brute” and “The King of Strong Style”.


#5 Their alliance was only a stop-gap before WrestleMania 35

From a storyline perspective, it did not make much sense for Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura to begin their tag team run at the end of January 2019.

The two men had been involved in a three-month feud over the United States Championship, which Rusev won from Nakamura on Christmas Day 2018 before losing it back to him at the 2019 Royal Rumble.

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Both former champions then lost title matches against R-Truth on the episode of SmackDown Live after the Rumble, prompting them to form an alliance which was simply based on their mutual dislike of Truth.

With WWE planning a Fatal 4-Way match for the SmackDown Tag Team titles at WrestleMania 35, it felt like the duo stayed together longer than expected just so they could make up the numbers on the ‘Mania card.

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