Dolph Ziggler seems threatened by Shinsuke Nakamura's large following.
Dolph Ziggler seems threatened by Shinsuke Nakamura's large following.Credit: WWE.com

Q: What, if anything, would prevent Shinsuke Nakamura from finding as much success on the main roster as he did in NXT?

KB: Nakamura is a charismatic force and a great performer, but he will never be able to keep up with the better mic workers in WWE. If he does not put his full effort into his matches which was sometimes a concern in NXT, he could very well fail to connect with fans. In NXT, he got away with performing at less than his best sometimes, but that doesn’t work on the main roster.

Prediction: Nakamura shows off his full range in an impressive debut, ending with a clean victory.

AM: His biggest hurdles will be the fans who like to be different just for the sake of going against the majority along with his struggle on the mic. Promos are far more important on Raw and SmackDown than in NXT, and with it being a live environment, there isn't much room for error. If Nakamura doesn't resonate with the crowd from the start, he'll have his detractors who call him overrated, and since he'll have difficulty establishing a character beyond "entertaining wrestler who is weird at face value" as his gimmick, he won't win over those people.

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura for the win.

EB: Vince McMahon not “getting” Shinsuke Nakamura and his appeal is the only thing that will keep him from finding that success. Nakamura’s charisma is natural, it is in abundance but it is also unique. It is not verbal, like The Rock, and he does not have the movie star good looks that lure mass audiences like John Cena. Nakamura oozes it but not necessarily a way McMahon is likely to “get.” If that happens and he does not see what makes The King of Strong Style so special, his push could be slowed. Given the effort and promotion put into him at this point, what with him serving as the face of the Backlash pay-per-view, it appears as though even McMahon cannot deny the power of the former NXT champion.

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura.

RD: If WWE gives Nakamura a goofy shtick or sticks him in melodramatic romantic angles, he's going to sink, even as charismatic as he his. If WWE believes in him and tries to sell him as a badass as well as a showman, he's headed for big things.

Prediction: Nakamura wins in dominant fashion.

CM: The biggest problem he might face is overexposure. Nakamura only had to make two or three monthly appearances in NXT, but he is going to be expected to be at every SmackDown and PPV. Some fans might not enjoy his gimmick if he doesn't find new ways to evolve.

Prediction: Nakamura wins, but Ziggler gets the last laugh with a post-match attack to keep the feud going through the next PPV.

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