WWE SmackDown 5 Takeaways: Shinsuke Nakamura is Looking Strong

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4. Shinsuke Nakamura Continues to Look Strong

I don’t get why some fans were upset that Shinsuke Nakamura didn’t squash Dolph Ziggler at Backlash. While it would have been cool to see more offense from the main roster debutant, would it have served either superstar to have Nakamura dominate the match? The WWE wants to continue to use Ziggler as someone who can reasonably push young talent, so they can’t make him too weak. On top of that, Nakamura looks better if he beats opponents who aren’t portrayed as bottom-feeders. Nakamura kicked out of all of Dolph’s big moves, and that, in addition to the pinfall victory, made him look good.

Last night, the smart money would have been for Ziggler to eat the pin in the tag team main event. After all, that’s what he’s been there for in most of these types of matches. Even though I am usually opposed to champions taking pins, I actually liked the fact that Shinsuke pinned Kevin Owens for the babyface team to pick of the victory.

If Nakamura pinned Ziggler, it wouldn’t have done anything to help “The King of Strong Style”. We already saw him beat Ziggler two days before, and it would have made us continue to question how seriously the WWE wants us to take Nakamura as a contender for either title. Instead, by beating someone who has been the Universal Champion and is currently the United States Champion, the WWE has made it known that Nakamura will be as strongly booked as the other top faces on the roster.

Throughout the night, all of the commentators were putting over Nakamura. With potential tension between Styles and Nakamura teased at points during the night, including when both of them stared at each other following the victory, the company has assuaged fans concerned that Nakamura won’t be pushed hard enough.