It is undeniable that the WWE Championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles is one of the most hotly anticipated fights on the WrestleMania card. Both wrestlers have shown that they are putting on high quality within a WWE ring. AJ Styles has fought Roman Reigns, John Cena and Shane McMahon to name but a few and in each brought out the best in his opposition and had a high-class match. Nakamura, whilst not being able to match the level of his debut match against Sami Zayn in NXT Takeover, has had some very good matches during his first year, most notably John Cena on Smackdown. Besides the in-ring ability, the story, albeit slow at first, has picked up in recent weeks, and their altercation at the end of Smackdown last week set up a tantalising affair between two competitors, both with admiration and respect for the other but also heavily focused on getting the win. With all this in mind, it is clear that this match has all the qualities to steal the show, but in this article, I hope to explain why I would like to see Nakamura win the match and take the belt.
This will be the first time that Shinsuke has stepped into a WWE ring at the ‘grandest stage of them all’ and besides his underwhelming match with Mahal at Summerslam, this is his real big match. Styles has already had these big matches and so, it seems that Nakamura should get the win at his big event. It will give him some momentum and confirmation that he is one of the biggest players in the business. Moreover, as mentioned above, he had to deal with the woeful match at Summerslam against Jinder Mahal and so if anything, his victory in this match could go some way to repaying Nakamura for the loss that he had to take to Mahal at his first big PPV. However, two years ago, when Styles made his WrestleMania debut, he lost to Jericho, much to the surprise of many fans and so it is well within the realms of possibility that lightning will strike twice and the debutant will not get their debut victory.
Time for a shakeup
It is indisputable that AJ Styles is a fantastic technician in the ring and many of his most successful feuds, especially with Cena, have been built off the back of the fact that they will have killer matches and ‘bring the house down’. However, in recent months, this has not happened, and AJ feuds have really lacked momentum. At the previous PPV’s, Styles’ seemed to be third-wheeling in the Owens/Zayn/McMahon feud and there hasn’t really been a focus on Styles and a particular rival. Because of this, AJ Styles reign, in my eyes, has become a bit stale. This is not a reflection on his own talent, and more of a reflection on WWE writing teams and the fact that by this time, Styles has fought all of the main stars on the blue brand. With this in mind, it thus seems logical that Nakamura takes the belt. His unusual style and personality can become the setting of many goods feuds with people on the blue brand, whilst AJ Styles hopefully could get moved to raw in the now annual ‘superstar shakeup’, something which will allow him to feud with other stars and revitalise his character.
More dream matches
Unfortunately, during his near-on year stay on the blue brand, Shinsuke Nakamura has not been able to interact with a lot of Smackdown’s best wrestlers. Besides Cena, he has been resigned to multi-man tag matches, Corbin and Mahal, something which doesn’t make for pleasant reading. Should he win the belt at WrestleMania, it would give the WWE creative team the opportunity to create new dream feuds and matches with some of the best stars on Smackdown. Daniel Bryan? Seth Rollins? The list is endless but given the wrestlers he has been forced to feud with this year, it seems imperative that Nakamura wins this weekend as hopefully, it will give him some legitimacy and WWE some impetus to then go and book these dream matches.
Regardless of the result of the match, I am sure it will be a classic and would highly recommend that everyone put aside some time to watch it. However, for the long-term interests of Styles, Nakamura and SmackDown, the title now needs to be moved on for a fresh start for all those involved and to ensure a better second year in the WWE for Shinsuke Nakamura.
What do you think? Should Nakamura win the WWE Championship match? Let me know in the comments below.