With the first pay-per-view of the year taking place on Sunday, January 28th, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it seems the “King of Strong Style” is the favourite to win the match and earn a title opportunity at Wrestlemania 34.
With most of the company’s top stars having already announced their participation in the Royal Rumble Match, Roman Reigns and the legendary John Cena were initially considered the undisputed favourites to claim the victory.
Yet, the company intends to follow a different path for the two superstars, as the “Big Dog” is scheduled to challenge and defeat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at the “Showcase of the Immortals”.
Concurrently, Cena will reportedly battle the Undertaker, in a clash between two of WWE’s biggest icons.
That said, and given the match for the Universal Title has already been booked, if rumours are true, it would make sense for the WWE to pick a SmackDown Superstar to win the Rumble.
And Nakamura can be considered a great choice, thanks to his excellent wrestling skills and his decent in-ring ability.
The Japanese wrestler made his debut almost 10 months ago, during SmackDown Live’s first episode after Wrestlemania 33, and has battled everybody in the “Blue Brand” since then.
Nakamura has fought against Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, while he has been victorious against Cena and Randy Orton.
As the company has put him in tag team action several times in the last couple of months, it’s time for the WWE to give the “King of Strong Style” the “push” he deserves.
Following his NXT debut against Sami Zayn, in what was a spectacular match, Nakamura came to the WWE with the momentum on his side, yet the company didn’t back him up the way it was supposed to.
Moreover, since his match with Mahal for the WWE Championship a few months ago, he hasn’t been in singles action very often.
That’s one of the biggest mistakes the WWE made last year, so it’s now time for them to fix it.
Nakamura is very talented and charismatic, having great in-ring skills that make him one of the company’s best prospects.
However, it is widely believed that his mediocre promo skills are the biggest obstacle the WWE should overcome, if they want to have Nakamura enter the WWE Championship picture.
Yet, this problem can be fixed, if the company really wants to “push” the 37-year-old Japanese wrestler.
Through a series of weekly promos as well as daily work to improve his English, it’s very likely he will enhance his microphone skills week after week, eliminating the flaws that now are quite obvious.
Furthermore, the main reason why Nakamura is the number one favourite to win the Rumble is the opportunity to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at the “Showcase of the Immortals”.
Given the history these two superstars have in the past few years, having battled each other many times in other promotions, like NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling), the company has the opportunity to create a dream match in the biggest event of the year.
With both superstars being very popular, this match will retain the WWE Universe’s interest at very high levels, while it will also attract the attention of “occasional” fans that prefer to watch only specific pay-per-views, like the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and SummerSlam.
Last but not least, Nakamura vs AJ Styles will be the perfect match for Smackdown Live, in their effort to remain competitive in the “ratings battle” with RAW, which will host the blockbuster bout between Lesnar and Reigns.
Overall, the WWE should proceed with the plan of Shinsuke Nakamura entering the Rumble Match as the favourite and winning it, because I think that right now such a scenario certainly is “best for business”, while it’s also the biggest opportunity for the “King of Strong Style” to receive a major “push”.