I wasn’t sure how WWE would book Nakamura now that he has been elevated to the main roster on SmackDown Live. But putting him on a path toward a match with Dolph Ziggler is damn near brilliant.
The King of Smooth Style in a match with the “Show Stopper” helps the former NXT champion prove his greatness from the start. The move also allows Ziggler, who needs another push, to play the role of the veteran in this kind of program.
Ziggler has been drowning in the deep end of the pool since the company held its lottery and consummated brand extension. While he was in the first WWE World Title Match versus Dean Ambrose, and claimed the Intercontinental Title from The Miz, the rest of the past 10 months has been a failure.
Just like Rusev, Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio before him, bad booking and character assassination have led Ziggler down that road to purgatory no wrestler wants to travel.
What’s worse is the likes of Kalisto and Apollo Crews did nothing to help elevate him as a heel on the blue brand.
Nakamura is strong enough and talented enough to stand toe-to-toe in a ring with someone of Ziggler’s caliber. Even before he made his appearance the night after WrestleMania 33, he was over with WWE’s Universe. And his unorthodox style is perfect for the flash flamboyance of the man without solid footing in the company that made him great.
Much like Chris Jericho, Ziggler has a chance to fill a role that may be the best for him – helping new talent get over and succeed. Ziggler could be the “Jericho” of Tuesday nights. A great performer. A true salesman in the ring. Able to talk the talk and walk the walk. And the brash and arrogance needed to make this kind of feud work.
It’s possible Ziggler could do the same thing for Nakamura that Jericho did for Kevin Owens.
Like I have talked about before, I doubt seriously Ziggler gets another crack at the main event roster. But he could reemerge as a strong contender in the mid card. Now that the deck is shuffled and there is talk about Nakamura facing Sami Zayn and eventually confronting AJ Styles, this is a solid launching pad. There is no doubt Nakamura will be part of the main event picture for the WWE World Title, but it may take a few months to get there. In the meantime, Ziggler presents a great challenge for Nakamura to get his feet wet. This isn’t so much dipping his foot in the shallow end as it is jumping into solid competition head first.
Ziggler will help make him an even bigger star in this company.