Despite his popularity with live crowds, Shinsuke Nakamura’s WWE career arguably hasn’t hit the heights that many hoped for when he first joined the company. Something many fans believe is the fault of Vince McMahon.
Things started strongly for the ‘King of Strong Style’ who wowed fans on debut back in 2016 against Sami Zayn, before winning the NXT Title twice. After arriving on the main roster, Nakamura won the 2018 Royal Rumble and set up a clash with AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34. However, many fans and critics felt the match underdelivered, and Nakamura turned heel.
Although Nakamura hasn’t featured at the top of the card on a regular basis since mid-2018, he declared his intention to go after the World Championship following his latest return to action.
Speaking on his podcast, Oh You Didn’t Know, Road Dogg discussed Nakamura’s WWE run and why it has felt underwhelming to some. The WWE Hall of Famer suggested that Vince McMahon gave the star numerous opportunities to succeed.
“Look I think he [Vince McMahon] gave Nakamura opportunity after opportunity. I think Vince sees that you don’t have to see Nakamura perform too many times before you see what everybody else sees.”
Vince McMahon Gave Nakamura A “Bunch Of Opportunities
Road Dogg added that due to Nakamura not being a native speaker, McMahon didn’t think he could be a top guy. However, five years on, the veteran said he could “totally be the champion.”
“I don’t think he [Vince] was blind to that or denied him of that, and I think he gave him a bunch of opportunities. Now look I think the argument can be made that, ‘Can he, could he be a top guy?'” suggesting at the time that the language barrier may have gotten in the way, but that’s no longer the case.
“I think now, what are we, five years ahead of that? And look, the world’s changed. I think he could totally be the champion.”
Shinsuke Nakamura made his most recent return to action on the April 14th episode of SmackDown. The star saw off Madcap Moss in under two minutes and in a short interview backstage said that he was coming for World Championship gold.
H/t to Wrestling Inc