Samoa Joe’s Victory Gives NXT Much Needed Breathing Room

Posted in The Three Count by - December 03, 2016

There has been lot of talk surrounding the great match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe, after the surprising ending, which had Joe taking home the gold. Debate took over social media with fans arguing whether the end of the match was brilliant, or one of the worst booking decisions NXT has made. 

Shinsuke is undoubtedly one of the best talents in wrestling today. The man has the “it factor” people always bring up when they talk about Stone Cold, The Rock, Undertaker etc.  It’s something that has been missing from wrestling for years and many of the NXT faithful were saddened to see Shinsuke drop the belt, but it’s a move the WWE needed to make and it can’t be stated that the move was wrong until we see the next few weeks play out. 

Too many times as fans, we have reactionary responses to what we see on TV. It makes sense considering wrestling has made it’s money off of a reactionary fan base, but sometimes fans can go overboard.  Many fans criticize the WWE booking team and it’s understandable to have frustrations with the way the shows are booked. 

50/50 booking can be a chore to watch, titles sometimes change to often and sometimes the outcomes can seem odd. In this case, Shinsuke dropping the belt to Joe is actually one of the better booking decisions, if done right. 

For starters, Shinsuke has outlived his time down in NXT. The drawing potential is too great to have him still in NXT, as he can become an instant champion similar to the now shelved Finn Balor.  There are still questions as to whether the casual WWE fan will actually gravitate toward Shinsuke, but his unique wrestling style and look force people to watch. 

We also have to take into account the age Shinsuke is at. While at 36, Nakamura isn’t necessarily just a couple of years away from retirement, he isn’t exactly a young up and coming star. As a wrestling federation, WWE needs to utilize Shinsuke as fast as possible. With talent like AJ Styles waiting for him on the main roster. it’s time for the call up, because you know you want to see that match at WrestleMania one day. 

Some argue putting the belt on Samoa Joe for a second time is hurting his stock, that staying in NXT too long could hurt his chances at a main roster run. While Joe may be getting frustrated that he hasn’t made a jump to the main roster yet, it’s still the right move at this time. 

Joe has done well whether he has gone, but people forget he has had his down periods as well where the fans weren’t interested in what he was involved in. It isn’t imperative for the WWE brass to call up Joe and if Joe didn’t beat Shinsuke the only other option is to have Nakamura lose to Bobby Roode and let him run with the NXT title, but there aren’t enough wrestlers on his level to challenge. 

With Joe and Roode on the roster NXT is still a show worth watching. Granted, there are other talents who are entertaining, but they aren’t exactly moving tickets or carry Takeover main events. 

So why not keep Joe where he is at until there is another up and coming performer to hold the title. Joe works very well as a heel and the work he is putting out on NXT is making him the MVP of the show. Besides, if Ty Dillinger keeps moving up the totem pole in NXT he very well could be the next champion to hold the title as a face. A Roode vs. Dillinger matchup would be an amazing title match down the road if booked right. 

Granted, all of this comes down to whether or not the booking team sets everything up right. If Shinsuke losing the title is just another way to keep this rivalry going then it is doomed to fail. Remember how fondly everyone looks back on the several John Cena and Randy Orton matches where they continued to trade titles? If you can’t that’s because no one does. 

I think short title reigns are okay from time to time as long as it is booked correctly. It happens in real sports a lot but no one wants to see titles change there or four times in over rivalry. It’s still scripted and we all know it. 

With the WWE giving Joe the belt again it is time to call up Shinsuke. There is no need to have any more NXT matches when he can still have great matches on the main roster. In fact, as long as the WWE will let him wrestle his style there is no doubt in my mind he will become a main event star instantly. 

Hopefully the WWE has ever intention of moving Shinsuke up and giving him the opportunities he deserves, while protecting the NXT brand. 

So far, the future for all three is looking bright. 

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He is the senior editor at Kulture Shocked. A Nebraska boy born and raised, where he spends most of his time as a writer. When not tearing up Xbox Live, he spends most of his time divided between Magic: The Gathering and his fiancee.
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