Following a stellar showing in the Gauntlet match on the January 8th episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Shinsuke Nakamura’s upturn in fortune has continued.
During the Gauntlet match Shinsuke Nakamura faced off against Daniel Bryan, and after eventually overcoming his foe, the pair shook hands in the ring. It was a move which seemingly laid the foundation for a face-turn for the former Royal Rumble winner, a turn which was confirmed on the January 15th episode as Nakamura came to the ring to face Jey Uso with his original theme music providing the soundtrack.
Nakamura later took to Twitter to revel in his excitement.
— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) January 16, 2021
After being on the end of a series of taunts from Uso, Nakamura shot back with a jab of his own before flying into action. The pair delivered a brilliant match, continuing Nakamura’s momentum from the previous week, while Jey continues to excel in the role that he has made his own in recent months. The King Of Strong Style eventually picked up the win, hitting Uso with the Kinshasa for the three count.
After SmackDown went off the air, during a backstage interview Shinsuke Nakamura declared his intention to go after the Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
The return of the popular theme from CFO$ “The Rising Sun” marks the first time that Nakamura has competed as a babyface since losing to AJ Styles at Wrestlemania 34. Following the match for the WWE Championship, Nakamura attacked Styles with a low blow, followed by Kinshasa turning heel in the process. Nakamura would use a remix of “The Rising Sun” featuring Japanese vocals going forward to further signify his shift in character.