Shinsuke Nakamura Goes Through a Major Character Change on WWE Smackdown

Published 01/15/2021, 9:46 PM EST
Professional Wrestling: WWE SummerSlam: Shinsuke Nakamura victorious during match vs Jinder Mahal at Barclays Center. Brooklyn, NY 8/20/2017 CREDIT: Chad Matthew Carlson (Photo by Chad Matthew Carlson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X161332 TK1 )


In 2016, one of the greatest Japanese wrestlers of all time, Shinsuke Nakamura stepped into a WWE ring. He put on a classic against Sami Zayn, where he delivered such a brutal beating to Zayn that he had to leave NXT.

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Unfortunately, WWE has not treated Shinsuke Nakamura like the King of Strong Style since his debut on the main roster. In fact, they treated him like a weird rockstar/quirky artist, but things seem to be changing for Shinsuke.

Shinsuke Nakamura is slowly turning face

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On the January 8th episode of WWE SmackDown, Shinsuke Nakamura put on a wonderful performance in a gauntlet match. This match was meant to determine the Number One contender for the Universal Championship, which Nakamura did not win because of Roman Reigns and Jey Uso.

Nakamura entered the match once Rey Mysterio made quick work of Sami Zayn. The King of Strong Style made Rey tap out to an armbar before eliminating Baron Corbin with the Kinshasa.

After dealing with Corbin, we witnessed a dream showdown between Daniel Bryan and Nakamura.

Bryan and Nakamura fought an intense sixteen-minute battle that saw both men take each other to the absolute limit. The American Dragon threw everything at Shinsuke, from a suicide dive, to a half Boston Crab, and even a devastating German suplex. Nakamura countered everything Bryan threw at him and nailed him with a Kinshasa out of nowhere for the win.

Although Shinsuke lost because of the Tribal Chief, it protected him in his defeat, and he is now a fan favourite to face Reigns at WrestleMania. We witnessed KofiMania takeover WrestleMania 35 in 2019. Maybe NakaMania or a slightly better name might takeover WrestleMania 37.

Land of the Rising Sun is back

On the most recent episode of SmackDown, Shinsuke basically confirmed his complete turn from heel to face. The most obvious hint, the return of his original entrance music.

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Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance was the Land of the Rising Sun by former WWE music producers, CFO$. He used this entrance theme from his debut in 2016 to his WrestleMania debut in 2018. After his heel turn at WrestleMania 34, Shinsuke adopted a remixed version of the song.

While the remixed version was good too, the original theme is one of the few that still gives one goosebumps. Fans exploded on Twitter once they realised Nakamura had gotten his old theme back.

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We hope that along with his old theme, Nakamura brings back some of his Strong Style attributes, so he can do what he came to WWE for; to become a champion.

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Nathan Fulgado

1210 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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