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Old 04-03-2018, 06:11 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #1-wwf-fan View Post
What is this? There's no chance Nakamura vs Styles headlines. Can't tell if RP is doing some weird gimmick here or something. Nakamura and Styles are basically midcarders compared to Brock, Reigns, Rousey, etc. As good as the match might be technically, they're not gonna end the show with a whimper star power-wise.
I think he’s “being Trump”.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:07 AM   #82
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I wouldn't put it past the WWE to get all the SmackDown matches done and then move onto the Raw stuff. I mean, probably not, but I was just thinking about match order. I think they know Styles and Nakamura are going to tear it up, and it's going to be tough to follow it, but Bryan's return can do that. And I can see them riding that wave into Charlotte vs. Asuka, which they could promote as the "SmackDown portion main event." I dunno, I'm just spit-balling here.

1. US Title
2. SD Tag Titles
3. WWE Title
4. Bryan
5. SD Women's Title
6. IC Title
7. Raw Tag Titles
8. Raw Women's Title
9. Mixed Tag
10. Cena/Taker
11. Brock/Reigns
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:40 AM   #83
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I want it to go last because Nakamura won the Royal Rumble and I'm a traditionalist, but I feel he should be in THE main event. Also, because AJ Styles MORE than deserves to be in the main event, and in all honesty it's just something new and fresh.

But... you can tell even on all the promotional material that Nakamura is such an afterthought. Cena, Reigns, Lesnar, Triple H etc... "the usuals" are at the forefront. Yay...
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:54 AM   #84
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I get what you're saying, but traditionally the Rumble has been a lazy device to set up mid-card matches since 2006.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with this promotional tactic, but the WWE has been purposefully cold in setting up a lot of stuff this Mania. They are not selling the show on the WWE Title match. It's Brock and Reigns, Rousey making her debut, we treat women seriously and thank fuck we got Bryan back. And I think that is actually going to help Styles and Nakamura.

The WWE -- right, wrong or otherwise -- seems to be setting up a lot of surprises for Mania. Cena vs. Taker is not officially confirmed, and looks like it might be an "impromptu match" at Mania. Um, what? We don't know how good (or bad) Rousey is going to be. Angle is also a variable. Braun's partner hasn't been officially announced. There are rumors that the SmackDown Tag Titles will be on the line in a TLC Match that hasn't been confirmed. And Styles/Nakamura is only a known quantity to hardcore fans. Yes, they make up a more present section of the audience, but there are still people who have never heard of New Japan and frankly don't give a shit. Their reactions when they see Styles/Nakamura is going to be part of the story around the match.

It's almost as if the WWE wants you to think of this as Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger or Del Rio vs. Edge or Sheamus vs. Bryan. I mean, they aren't trying to bury their title or anything (they did enough of that with Jinder), but they are setting this up to be a sleeper hit. The only people who are really champing at the bit to see this match are the ones who are familiar with the New Japan one. And that's actually fine for this, because they aren't banking on it hard and it's so clearly not the main event.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:57 AM   #85
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After WrestleMania, Shinsuke Nakamura's stock will be much higher than it is now. And in whatever remains of kayfabe, he's supposed to be a "WWE Main Eventer." He's beaten Orton and Cena on TV, was in a SummerSlam title match and has won a Royal Rumble. To Little Johnny Casual, he's supposed to be "good," but they're setting him up to catch as a lot of people's favorite after Mania.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:04 AM   #86
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I will state that I don't have any faith in WWE to be able to ride any wave they create effectively or for very long. I imagine they will do their best to have Nakamura do "funny" backstage skits and play up how "eccentric" he is. I believe the particulars of how they handle him will still irk hardcore fans of Nakamura who followed him in Japan heading out of WrestleMania, just as they do going in -- I just feel that WrestleMania is going to be extremely effective in increasing Shinsuke's stock with audiences.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:05 AM   #87
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I think AJ retains, I think it's a time to solidify him as one of the real top guys.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:03 AM   #88
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I'm starting to come around on AJ retaining. Mainly because it's Nakamura's first Mania and they love fucking with guys' momentum and making them work for things. But I think it does fit the story too, with Nakamura getting the belt later. Bryan's return also shakes things up and re-prioritizes things.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:48 AM   #89
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I definitely have a feeling AJ is gonna retain. Nakamura lost clean to Jinder. I'm pretty sure they just like using him as a guy the smarks love that can be used to ultimately just help put others over.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:55 AM   #90
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Vince doesn't have any confidence in Nakamura, AJ retains.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:00 AM   #91
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I think Nakamura wins. AJ doesn't need the win and it would do alot more for Nakamura. That being said I totally understand why everyone thinks AJ will win. I just think he'll be switching brands and be the Universal Champion by Summerslam.
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:31 PM   #92
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AJ needs to win and continue to win. He can become a legit big deal if they utilize him right.
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:49 PM   #93
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Doesnt matter who wins. The belt means nothing.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:09 PM   #94
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I actually see Asuka/Charlotte opening the show with the Raw women's title being somewhere in the middle of the card, probably after either Cena/Taker or Styles/Nakamura since it'll be a quick squash/cool down type thing. And the mixed tag probably second or third to last.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:19 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destor View Post
Doesnt matter who wins. The belt means nothing.
The belt means nothing but AJ still has the ability to become a legit star. Not on a Cena level but as the tier directly below Cena. Keep him winning and being put in good feuds. It should be a big deal when he loses.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:12 PM   #96
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Quote:
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Now I hope AJ/Nakamura does close the show
You ever thought of maybe shutting your mouth, fella?
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:41 PM   #97
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Quote:
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I actually see Asuka/Charlotte opening the show with the Raw women's title being somewhere in the middle of the card, probably after either Cena/Taker or Styles/Nakamura since it'll be a quick squash/cool down type thing. And the mixed tag probably second or third to last.
I like the idea of Auska/Charlotte opening and also Ronda/Steph going 2nd to last works for me too.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:11 PM   #98
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Don’t think it will go last. I do expect to see a Kinshasa reversed into a Calf Crusher, and a Phenominal Forearm reversed with a Kinshasa.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:32 PM   #99
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I mean, if AJ's work with Cena didn't make him a top guy in your mind, I don't think beating Nakamura and holding it for a few more months is going to do the trick.

I agree that the Smackdown title isn't as prestigious as the Universal, but it definitely feels elevated when AJ is holding it. Overall, I think AJ has been treated really well in his WWE run, and I don't think he can really get any bigger than he has already.

Nakamura hasn't been booked quite as consistently, but well enough where he could win the belt in an epic match and ride that momentum into a meaningful, quality title reign that brings just as much to the belt as AJ can.

If it's booked right and they don't shit the bed like Noid is predicting of course.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:49 PM   #100
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I don't think there are plans to build up AJ to be any bigger than he already is, but I can just see the WWE having AJ retain because:

1) It's Nakamura's first WrestleMania. Call it AJ Styles or Ryback Syndrome. You ain't going over at your first Mania because we want to test you.

2) Most of the belts seem like they are changing hands. I can see it being the lowest priority for a change.

3) All logic seems to dictate a title win for the babyface challenger. Fuck logic. Let's surprise the fans!

4) We can always give the belt to Nakamura later.

5) Daniel Bryan is back. We want Bryan to win the belt at some point. No point in trying to make a new champion right now.

6) Roman Reigns winning is the big story. They've had two World Title changes before, but this is a The Roman Reigns Story.

I can just see everybody pissing themselves over the match, only for it to end when Nakamura goes for a Kinshasa but it is countered into a Calf-Crusher and Nakamura taps out and everybody is like "Huh?" But as Destor said, it's not like the belt actually matters, so whatever. I'm not going to be shocked either way. I can just see the WWE reasons for AJ Styles continuing on as champion.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:27 PM   #101
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It a match that who goes over doesnt matter anyway. The just need to kill each other for a half hour. It'll get both guys over
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:53 PM   #102
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AJ wins in 10 seconds.

Clean.

In the Pre-Show.

To accommodate Undertaker's 2 hour long entrance.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:09 PM   #103
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Bryan being back honestly makes a Nakamura win more logical.

For as much as they've touted Nakamura vs AJ as a dream match, it's a match we have already seen before. The true dream match is Nakamura vs Bryan. It's the main reason Nakamura is in WWE in the first place.

Nakamura beats AJ for the title, and gets a good strong run leading up to summerslam where he faces Bryan in their second biggest event of the year. Whether Bryan wins or Nakamura retains is a whole other (absolutely loaded) topic.

Mind you I could absolutely see AJ retaining for all the reasons Noid listed, and I wouldn't even be disappointed really, as I like AJ as champ, but the above scenario is the most ideal to me.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:14 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destor View Post
It a match that who goes over doesnt matter anyway. The just need to kill each other for a half hour. It'll get both guys over
I think that logic seeps in to the company's train of thought too. Naka will just look good being there.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:59 AM   #105
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Well what do we have here...
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:05 AM   #106
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Quote:
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What is this? There's no chance Nakamura vs Styles headlines. Can't tell if RP is doing some weird gimmick here or something. Nakamura and Styles are basically midcarders compared to Brock, Reigns, Rousey, etc. As good as the match might be technically, they're not gonna end the show with a whimper star power-wise.
Yes they'll just end it with a video package and deafening silence in comparison to the two mid-card guys
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:32 AM   #107
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Feel like very few stops were pulled in this match. Felt overly safe and formulaic, tbh. The strike exchange towards the end and the finish were really the only real stand out moments in the match for me. Everything else kind of just felt like "getting their shit in", as they would on your standard Raw or Smackdown match. Which for these two guys, still leads to a good match, but no where near what they are capable of, or should be putting on, on a stage this big.

So yeah. Match itself was kind of a disappointment, but the aftermath REALLY softens the blow, because heel Nak opens up lots of possibilities.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:48 AM   #108
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Agree with Fignuts 100%, it almost felt like they were limiting themselves or trying to tell a "traditional" WWE Heavyweight match. The problem with that is both of them are popular because they arent traditional WWE Heavyweight or work that style.

Weird and I felt uninspired. Also was the crowd 100% dead like it seemed or were the crowd mics down?

Last edited by Sting Fan; 04-09-2018 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:43 AM   #109
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Also agree
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:53 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fignuts View Post
Feel like very few stops were pulled in this match. Felt overly safe and formulaic, tbh.
Wouldn't be surprised if Styles getting hurt very close to Mania also hampered its potential.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:05 AM   #111
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Quote:
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Yes they'll just end it with a video package and deafening silence in comparison to the two mid-card guys
Live crowd was more into the actual main event. Actual main event also had WAY more appeal to any casuals tuning in because it was free. They got it right. Even with the heel turn, AJ and Nakamura closing the show would have been anticlimactic to a comedic level.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:03 AM   #112
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What's the point of this heel turn?
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:42 AM   #113
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What's the point of this heel turn?
I dunno. Don't care though. Heel Nak seems a lot more interesting than what they've been doing.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:00 AM   #114
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I guess they might be thinking they're going to have him against Bryan and Styles in coming months, so why not try and shed some of that bland babyface ju-ju.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:11 AM   #115
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Big disappointment for me, but a predictable one. Nakamaura was at his best since going to Smackdown! here but still not enough to capture the crowd and own the moment until after the bell rang. I wish it could've been positioned differently but the card was laid out really well... so I think it falls on them not capturing the crowd and owning the moment until after the match. Perhaps I will look at it with different eyes a few years from now.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:41 AM   #116
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Posted this in the official thread, but I loved the match. I think WWE television is generally really dumb, but Nakamura "hits it out of the park" in the way that they want. Saw clips of him faking on the Kinshasa -- dude is cheeky as fuck. I love it. I don't know if I will watch just because of Nakamura, but he's really good at what he does, folks, and I think Vince would have been happy with this as an overall performance. Vince used to like stories, and this one has a fairly meaty one for modern WWE standards. And it's simple.

Wrestling is supposed to tell a story of conflict. It's easy to forget that when you get caught up in the internet bubble. There is conflict here. There is conflict between Shinsuke and AJ Styles (obviously). There is also conflict between Shinsuke Nakamura and the fans and what their respect is worth. And there is conflict within himself and whether or not he can make it in the WWE.

I dunno, I kind of dig it. At least until they turn him into a comedy ninja or whatever. For now, I think it's good ol' rasslin. Good Guy Shin comes over to be the big star and be known as the best wrestler in the world, only for the fans to whinge about how disappointing he is, because he's more focused on winning than putting on a show and damaging his body. But he's unable to wrest the WWE Championship away from the real best wrestler on the planet, so Good Guy Shin makes a deal with the devil on his shoulder.

Now I want to see more AJ vs. Nakamura matches, and I'm excited because they might tell an evolving story instead of just being a whole bunch of kicks to the head and kicking out of each other's finishers.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:42 AM   #117
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I do wish that the dumb-ass fans would shut the fuck up and boo the heels though. If you're supposed to be smart, play along.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:47 AM   #118
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Nakamura is a natural heel. Turning him was a good call even though it's too little too late.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:13 AM   #119
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Intellectually, I don't like that I've already seen him lose to AJ Styles, but I'm just going to try and switch my brain off for that program. It'll be nice to see him lead matches instead of sitting in Dolph Ziggler chinlocks for two minutes.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:16 AM   #120
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I do wish that the dumb-ass fans would shut the fuck up and boo the heels though. If you're supposed to be smart, play along.
Maybe they just like the heels better and don't care about playing along.
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