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SK Exclusive: Why Shinsuke Nakamura opened WWE Backlash 2017

Billi Bhatti
3.24K   //    23 May 2017, 00:42 IST
Nakamura overcame Ziggler at Backlash

What's the story?

In a rather unexpected twist, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler was the opener at WWE Backlash 2017. This was apparently because the show was going head to head with Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This story was first reported on DS Breaking News, which you can find below:

In case you didn't know... 

Shinsuke Nakamura debuted on the first episode of SmackDown LIVE after WrestleMania 33, but his first televised main roster match was held off until Backlash in Chicago where he faced and beat Dolph Ziggler via pinfall.

The Heart of matter

Backlash took place on May 21, 2017,  in Chicago and aired at the same time as game 3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics series. However, the WWE did have one hour to themselves, with Backlash starting thirty minutes before the NBA and ending thirty minutes after the basketball.

Therefore, the WWE wanted to feature their two main matches un-opposed. AJ vs. Owens was considered to open the show, but Nakamura's debut was given the nod once the WWE officials decided upon the shady finish in the US Championship match, which is set to consist of multiple bouts as previously reported by myself.

Also read: 10 Questions from WWE Backlash 2017 that most need answering

What's next? 

The May 22, 2017, episode of Monday Night Raw will once again go up against the NBA playoffs, which will feature the Golden State Warriors in action against the San Antonio Spurs.

Author's take 

It made sense for the WWE to want to have as many eyes as possible on their two main matches. Unfortunately, the unanimous consensus online is that the Nakamura debut was massively disappointing. He wasn't signed for his speaking skills, and the WWE will need to allow him to work a less limited style if they want the King of Strong Style to be the unique attraction they signed him to be.

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Billi Bhatti
In September 2015, Billi Bhatti launched The Dirty Sheets Podcast, with the goal to break and cover professional wrestling news, that people would actually care about — rather than developing a click-bait news site. The Dirty Sheets Podcast is available on iTunes. Billi was a participant on Big Brother UK in 2007. Prior to Big Brother, he worked as a personal trainer and commercial model, modelling for the likes of Telenor, Birkenstock, Ringspun and Animal. Billi appeared for IPW:UK Wrestling f
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