Everything seemed so predictable that many fans watched with suspicion John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with an opportunity for the WWE Championship in play . SummerSlam (2017) on the horizon and the Yankee banner of the company to a step of being able to defeat to the rude anti-American of turn, Jinder Mahal . A story so often seen that precisely for this reason was the safest plan for the great summer event.
But to the surprise of those supporters (and for opprobrium of Cena’s neck), Nakamura emerged victorious and is already the new challenger to WWE’s quintessential scepter. A priori, and seeing the recent numbers that the company throws, it could be said that this is a bad move on the part of the creatives . Not even SS has achieved today a sold out, something that in previous years was something habitual, and should not be considered futile anecdote looking back: WWE Great Balls of Fire and WWE Battleground (2017) recorded sales of tickets Quite mediocre .
If this is felt worrisome is because the company itself promotes this year’s edition as the second WrestleMania of the season. Really Jinder Mahal Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is the right fight for size challenge? Okay, the Nippon drags a huge popularity since its journey in NXT, whereas the reign of Indo-Canadian by now is proving profitable. But remember that the show will not take place in Tokyo or New Delhi, but at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and the usual US audience of WWE is not characterized precisely because of its taste for cultural diversity .
I refer to the facts. Only a gladiator born outside of North America has managed to star in “The Showcase of the Immortals”: André the Giant (WM III) . And within that territory, the filter is reduced to the US and Canada, of course; No Mexican had the privilege. I speak of WM because its repercussion can be extrapolated to SS, and although the last combat of the summer event of 2017 will be the Fatal 4-Way for the Universal Championship, we could qualify the Mahal-Nakamura like second star of the night.
Thus, this fight will have the singularity not only of occupying a postin place within the biggest event of the summer of the biggest wrestling company in the world. In addition, it will be the first time that two talents originating from Asia compete for the WWE Championship . Although the Iron Sheik carried the title, never put it in game against a “cocontinental”. Recall also that his reign there in 1983-1984 was a mere transition (less than a month). Another achievement for Mahal if we make an odious comparison.
So why break away from tradition now? While earlier this year we offered arguments here why New Japan Pro Wrestling still can not compete with WWE , recent events may have changed Vince McMahon’s perception . Dave Meltzer recently reported that the number of WWE Netwok subscribers is being a “disappointment”, with growth after WM 33 that never came. Hence perhaps the bet by a monarch Mahal and by the meteoric rise of Nakamura, which in my point of view, has come too soon. While NJPW World added about 11,000 fans thanks to WrestleKingdom 11, by comparison, the growth of the US platform in recent months has not been up to par .
WWE SummerSlam (2017) will be the most Eastern event in WWE history, and the company relies on its expansionism to trace numbers. Who knows if a Mahal Vs. Nakamura would have been the right match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33 , the biggest showcase of world wrestling every year. Anyway, and avoiding the Nakamura effect will work, it will be a huge breath of fresh air within the McMahon product landscape.