I don’t think Itami will make it through this summer, unfortunately. His debut was pretty underwhelming to say the least. He has nonexistent mic work, and it seems like his injuries have really affected ability to perform.

Nakamura has to have uber-talented opponents like Styles, Ibushi, or Okada. He can’t elevate a lesser talent, as we’ve seen over and over since his debut in WWE. He can probably have stellar matches with AJ, Rollins, or Balor, but outside of that, I don’t think there are many guys for him to have good matches with in WWE.

AJ is a Top-3-in-the-business guy exactly b/c he can get a good match out of Jinder Mahal. Better to compare Nakamura’s matches with Jinder against AJ’s matches with him.

I was a huge Nakamura fan when he was in NJPW, but I feel like WWE has booked him poorly without a plan, and that he has gotten lazy and boring.

So I put part of his lackluster status on the company, and part on him.

Which blows, because when people say they think he’s over rated or that he sucks (and that they’ve only seen his WWE run), I can’t really combat their opinions. Basically if you’ve only seen him here, he sucks.

Such a bummer.

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Being a part of the main roster, IMO, the wrestlers will always wrestle at 60%, due to the strenuous schedule. I do feel that Nakamura will go all out for ‘Mania.

As someone who has not watched NXT (based on WWE Network subscriber #'s, the vast majority of RAW viewers don’t either) I feel that WWE did an absolutely terrible job introducing/explaining Nakamura, Balor (the demon thing) and Bailey. In fact, they’ve never explained their backstory or given the viewer a reason to care about them as I hear they did in NXT.

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That seems to be the main problem with the nXt call-ups. They show up out of nowhere without proper build and immediately get lost in the shuffle. The wrestlers get over in nXt and WWE (Vince) incorrectly assumes a seamless transition. Really can’t wait to see Hunter get full control.

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Itami’s injuries haven’t affected him at all. He’s been fantastic since coming back. The problem with Itami is the opposite of Nakamura. Nakamura has tons of physical charisma but his in ring has been lackluster and half hearted. Itami has been working his ass off in ring but he has the charisma of a wet mop. He was like that in NOAH to but he was a superstar because in NOAH particularly it was all about the in ring. Nothing else mattered. Its a shame because I love the way Itami works in the ring (Tozawa to).

In fairness you can’t say Nakamura’s call up had no build as they spent a month showing videos and building up to his match with Ziggler. He actually got a good amount of build.

Yeah, but then he wrestled a fifty-fifty match with Dolph “one step above a jobber” Ziggler and looked unspectacular doing so. He should’ve been built up in a similar way to Strowman; destroying jobbers in short, quick matches that were literally a greatest hits set of his moves and taunt repertoire before finally having longer matches with people higher up the card once his big moves were over. Nakamura is best drip-fed to an audience over time, rather than made to look ordinary immediately. They basically did exactly the same thing with Asuka as well.

One step above a jobber is winning the US title not too long after that?

Six months is hardly not long in wrestling. Also, even if it were, we can’t tell the future, so it means nothing to a feud happening before it became a reality.

Would you argue that Jinder Mahal was anything more than one step above a jobber before winning the WWE World title? Because he was in a similar place (I might even argue lower) to Dolph and rose higher, faster than Dolph did.

Dolph’s done nothing of meaning on WWE TV in a very, very long time and is pretty much a jobber to the stars, there because he’s recognisable. Why he re-signed in the first place is beyond me, he clearly isn’t happy and hasn’t been for years.

Anyone on TV who is booked competitively isn’t a “jobber”…those guys who show up randomly to get killed and have zero offense and are not contracted are “jobbers”…if we’re going to use outdated terms…Ziggler is a good/helluva hand who is there to get others over his tier…he’s been a solid midcard and gatekeeper since 2012…and he’s done far far more than most have done who are still there.

Nakamura is terrible in WWE… It might be different in New Japan, i don’t know, i don’t watch it… but WWE seems out of his league… His draw back is he can’t cut a promo… I’ve heard many people say “he doesn’t need to talk”… Sorry to break it to you, but he kinda does in WWE, unless they give him a manager and that can flop easily… Look at the way he’s booked, obviously he needs to cut promos or they won’t know what to do with him.

If Nak is getting paid more than he was in Japan, then stick it out. It’s all about making money after all.

Oh I fully agree that how they used him once he was called up was not great. I’m just saying they actually put some videos up before he appeared unlike many NXT’s call up. Like “Hey it’s the Revival” as they walk out or Hideo Itami running out of nowhere. There was at least build to him appearing.

Can’t cut a promo doesn’t mean jack shit when a guy like Jeff Hardy became one of the biggest stars in the company in 09.

Didn’t have a mouth piece either…another trope when it comes to criticism about people who don’t speak English.

Very disappointed with how WWE has booked him. But with a company so reliant on 20 minute dialogues, I don’t know how he’ll succeed. NJPW has moved on from him really well, so not sure how he’d fit in there either. He feels a bit tainted now, like Gallows and Anderson.

I think the problem is he hasn’t been booked like a killer, putting him on the mic in a mid-card angle may have been a mistake. Perhaps he would have been better off coming in as a heel and just destroying jobbers like Marcus Stroman, but I know he was already a babyface in NXT. He’s a great talent though, I like his work, but as a character he doesn’t have much of an identity.