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WWE News: Shinsuke Nakamura injured, new title match slated for SmackDown Live

Gary Cassidy
SENIOR ANALYST
News
3.33K   //    27 Jun 2018, 03:17 IST

Jeff Ha
Jeff Hardy was scheduled to defend his title against Nakamura

What's the story?

Tonight's United States Championship match between Jeff Hardy and Shinsuke Nakamura has been scrapped after WWE confirmed the King of Strong Style has not been cleared for in-ring competition due to an injury incurred at last night's house show.

Instead, this week's SmackDown will see Jeff Hardy issue an open challenge for his championship.


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In case you didn't know...

Shinsuke Nakamura took on AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania in a dream match that soon turned sour when the former NXT star would low blow Styles to set up a rivalry that culminated in a Last Man Standing Match at Money In The Bank.

Jeff Hardy, however, won the United States Champion on the first Raw after the Superstar Shake-up when he defeated Jinder Mahal and took the title over to SmackDown the following night.

The pair has since been embroiled in a rivalry that has seen Nakamura low blow Hardy, and Hardy show an even more enigmatic side to himself when he revealed a painted face in a mysterious promo last week.

The heart of the matter

On social media, just moments ago, WWE posted a clip of Dasha Fuentes reporting that SmackDown General Manager has confirmed Shinsuke Nakamura cannot compete on tonight's show due to an injury he sustained last night, and thus forfeits his championship opportunity tonight.

The clip also confirms that Jeff Hardy will still defend his title on the blue brand tonight and will issue an open challenge for the belt. There's no word yet on the nature of the injury, when Nakamura will return or if he will receive a title opportunity upon his return - although Hardy may not be champion then depending on how his defence goes tonight.

You can see WWE's clip confirming the news below.

What's next?

Well, tonight's SmackDown is just hours away. Who will face Jeff Hardy? That's anyone's guess. We'll keep you updated on Shinsuke Nakamura's injury.


Who do you want to see get a title shot tonight? Let us know in the comments.

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Gary Cassidy
SENIOR ANALYST
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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