4 Predictions for WWE SmackDown Live: May 23, 2017

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The King of Strong Style Seeks Direction

At Backlash, Shinsuke Nakamura made his official in-ring debut as a member of the SmackDown Live roster. In a strong showing against Dolph Ziggler, Nakamura showed exactly why he was taken so seriously down in NXT. Now that he has a big victory under his belt, what can we expect to see from the King of Strong Style?

Because of the paper-thin roster that the Blue Brand has right now, it’s hard to envision a clear direction for Nakamura. He’s an incredibly popular superstar, but one win on the main roster doesn’t warrant a MiTB opportunity or a title shot. For the time being, Nakamura is going to be spending time building himself up to a new audience. While he does have the support of fans who know his work from NXT, the main WWE Universe may not recognize his work.

With such limited options on the table at the present moment, WWE may choose to have Nakamura continue his rivalry with Dolph Ziggler. Their contest at Backlash was rather impressive, but the two are capable of producing more. If the company gives them another chance to do so, we may see a potential show-stealer. They could meet in the squared circle for tag matches and that sort, but the next singles match between these two should be at Money in the Bank.

On that night, there’s a high chance that Nakamura is the victor yet again. Even though it’d be nice to see Ziggler rise up the ranks, this isn’t the right time. His only task should be to ensure that the King of Strong Style is embraced by the fans.