The WWE Universe was shocked when A.J. Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE title at Wrestlemania. The Universe was even more floored when Nakamura hit Styles with a low blow, signifying a heel turn.
Nakamura never fully explained his actions on why he attacked Styles on the Smackdown Live after Wrestlemania. He merely offered an apology.
When he was asked why he did it, the King of Strong Style added “sorry, no speak English,” in a mocking tone.
Later in the evening, Nakamura solidified his heel turn by interrupting the dream match between Styles and former Smackdown General Manager-turned superstar Daniel Bryan. He low-blowed Styles twice, then hit Bryan with a Kinshasa.
It appears Nakamura’s program will continue with Styles and it will likely lead to another title bout at Extreme Rules.
This is the first time WWE fans will see Nakamura as a heel, and it could fall flat or it could lead to some big things for the King of Strong Style.
This is the first time Nakamura has been a heel since he started in WWE. He was a face during his entire NXT run, as well as his first year on Smackdown Live.
However, this isn’t the first time Nakamura has resorted to heel tactics. In 2009, while working for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Nakamura turned heel to side with former Great Bash Heel members to form the Chaos stable. This turn led to him becoming the King of Strong Style and resulted in great success, including a plethora of IWGP championships and epic matches with the likes of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Yugi Nagata.
Nakamura’s heel turn could result in the same success if he is invested in making his new persona work.
There are aspects Nakamura needs to work on in order to make this heel character successful. He has some work to do when it comes his language barrier and promos – and he has progressed since his NXT run. But he’ll need to continue to work on it, or at least have someone as a manager – like a Paul Heyman or a Zelina Vega.
Another way for him to be over as a heel is for him to channel that menacing wrestler who was mericlous when he fought his opponents. Nakamura needs to find a way to be that character but also have the fans boo him when he does it. The difficult aspect of being a heel in today’s wrestling – especially on WWE’s main roster – is fans will cheer you even if you are a bad guy and doing dastardly things.
However, having him work heel with fan favorites like Styles and Bryan and disrupting their dream match is a good start for Nakamura garnering heel heat.
WWE will also need to invested in a heel Nakamura. The company has not had a good track record of promoting International superstars, especially heels, like Cesaro, Rusev and Wade Barrett. The exceptions to this would be Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Then there are International stars like Jinder Mahal and Sheamus, who have had success but fans have not taken to them on their own – the Celtic Warrior recently got over with the crowd due to his amazing tag team work with fan favorite Cesaro.
However, Nakamura turning heel has perhaps propelled him to the top heel spot on Smackdown Live and having a babyface Styles could potentially make their next match better than Wrestlemania. Part of what made their match at Wrestle Kingdom 10 a classic was a heel Styles versus a babyface Nakamura.
Nakamura’s main roster run was luke warm up until he won the 2018 Royal Rumble.
Is there a chance Nakamura’s heel turn could tank? Probably, but it could be the best thing for his career. Fans will just have to wait and see.
Daniel Bryan Wins WWE Championship, Refuses to Answer Questions Following Attack on AJ Styles
Daniel Bryan captured the WWE Championship by defeating A.J Styles on Tuesday’s SmackDown LIVE, ending Styles reign of over 300 days and putting into motion a Bryan heel turn following his beat down of Styles following the match.
Bryan is now slated to face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series this Sunday.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? November 12, 2018
For Raw, when Smackdown invaded Raw this week, it was an awesome segment from start to finish. After Alexa Bliss announced that Ruby Riott would be the final member of the women’s team, the cameras cut backstage to Becky Lynch attacking Ronda Rousey. Soon after that, Lynch came out with other Smackdown women superstars and a brawl ensued. Lynch broke her nose and had a few facial fractures after Nia Jax punched in the face during this brawl. This led to Lynch bleeding profusely from her nose, but that didn’t stop her from fighting. Lynch then attacked Rousey with a chair and stood tall in the crowd. This made Becky Lynch look like the baddest women on the planet and the WWE universe seem to agree as they were chanting her name throughout this.
For Smackdown, we have a new WWE Champion! Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles after hitting a low blow and then a running knee. Bryan then attacked Styles after the match and shocked the WWE Universe. Bryan now gets to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series and some have considered this a “dream match.”
For Raw, the whole ordeal with the tag team Survivor Series elimination match was a mess. Raw opened up with a battle royal to determine who the captains would be for Raw for that match. This battle royal was interrupted by Braun Strowman, so they pushed the match for later in the show. Then, when the match happened, nobody really cared. Lastly, the team that won could only just brag that they were the captains because all the other teams involved in the Battle Royal will be the same teams to represent Raw in the match anyway.
For Smackdown, there was no invasion angle on their show this week, which is confusing. Last year, both brands invaded each other’s show before Survivor Series. But, this time around, Smackdown only invaded Raw. When this doesn’t happen now, it really makes the matches at Survivor Series not feel as important as they should. What really doesn’t make much sense either is that during the show, they showed that security was preparing for an invasion, but it never happened.
The Final Verdict
With these being the go home shows before Survivor Series, WWE usually ramps up the build to these matches by having invasions happen as well as taking a lot of time to talk about these matches. But, with the Becky Lynch injury, she had to pull out of her match with Rousey and find a replacement. WWE also decided to throw the fans a curve ball by having AJ Styles 365+ days reign as WWE Champion come to a screeching halt this week too after losing to Daniel Bryan. As far as which brand had a better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. Raw did a really good job of building up Survivor Series as well as what is to come after the PPV too. They had time to show what is going to happen next between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as well as Braun Strowman and his situations with Baron Corbin and Brock Lesnar. Lastly, the ending invasion with Smackdown was an awesome moment for years to come. Survivor Series is looking to be a solid PPV and it is also intriguing to see what happens after the PPV too.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? November 5, 2018
For Raw, we have new tag team champions this week after the Authors of Pain defeated Seth Rollins. After Rollins called out Baron Corbin for helping Brock Lesnar win the Universal Championship, Corbin retaliated by having him defend the tag team championship against AOP knowing that Dean Ambrose wasn’t going to help Rollins out. That was the case as Rollins tried to his best to win two on one, only to fail. After the match, Ambrose attacked Rollins again. When I stated last week that this Seth Rollins versus Dean Ambrose rivalry is going to be a slow build, this is a prime example of it and doing it in a effective way.
For Smackdown, we had a great one on one match between Rey Mysterio and Andrade Almas. Before this bout, Daniel Bryan picked Mysterio to be on the men’s team, only for the Miz to question it and say that Mysterio will have to prove it against Almas. Both Mysterio and Almas put on a high flying match which ended when Mysterio hit the 619. After the match, Randy Orton attacked Mysterio too, which questions where his intentions are going forward too.
For Raw, while I do not mind the Bobby Lashley versus Finn Balor rivalry, having them face off against each other every week is not a good way to build up the rivalry. This is the 3rd week in a row they have faced off against each other and it hasn’t really led to anything for either competitor. There are much better ways to help develop this rivalry. Having them fight every week gets repetitive and boring quickly.
For Smackdown, the reveal for the women’s team at Survivor Series didn’t really have the intriguing impact compared to what they are doing on Raw. For Smackdown, there is no team captain and they don’t even have one fully committed to the team. When it was Charlotte’s turn to get introduced, she didn’t show up, instead we got Mandy Rose questioning why others were on the team in her place. While that aspect of the team is interesting, there are still some things left up in the air about this.
The Final Verdict
After Crown Jewel, it felt like WWE was trying to move past that as soon as possible and move onto Survivor Series. This seems like the smartest decision for WWE considering the controversy that was behind Crown Jewel. But, as both brands moved on, they did a pretty solid job of building up Survivor Series. But, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. They spent all of their allotted time on focusing on Survivor Series and have some pretty interesting stories going into it. While Raw, on the other hand, had some matches that felt like filler and have been extremely repetitive. Overall, WWE needs to ramp up the buildup for Survivor Series, especially considering that this is one of the Big Four PPV’s.
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