Wrestling fans continue to wait on pins and needles for Shinsuke Nakamura to move up from NXT to the main WWE roster. He has campaigned to be AJ Styles’ opponent at WrestleMania, but it seems like he probably won’t be moving up until at least April. Triple H has said Nakamura will be on the main roster before we know it, but those nagging doubts linger among fans.
And now, here to toss some lighter fluid on those fears is Big Stevie Cool!
In an interview with Memorabilia Guy, ECW original Stevie Richards talked about what made the original ECW such a phenomenon: that its roster came from all over the world, and showcased people who were at least a little bit different from the wrestlers fans saw on WWE and WCW television at the time.
Richards was then asked his opinion of Nakamura, who seems to fit that “a little bit different” vibe as far as the rest of the WWE roster goes these days. Richards agreed, but is worried that Vince McMahon may not fully grasp what Nakamura is trying to accomplish.
“I heard somewhere that [Triple H] said [Nakamura] wasn’t ready for the main roster. I mean the guy had Tokyo Dome shows countless times. I think sometimes Vince [McMahon] doesn’t understand something a bit different. There is a part of me that thinks Nakamura will be [given] an emperor [gimmick] or something stupid like that when he goes to the main roster. Nakamura is so charismatic. Vince might say, ‘I don’t know why he saunters around like he has no bones in his body.’ Well, the fans are paying attention. I think that’s something that he just doesn’t understand.”
The fear Richards voices is probably pretty close to what most WWE fans are afraid of. But I think over the past year, seeing AJ Styles, Finn Bálor, Enzo Amore, and Samoa Joe all debut on the main roster as pretty much exactly what fans love about those characters, it may finally be time to give them the benefit of the doubt on Nakamura’s eventual move to Raw or Smackdown.