After finishing up his three-month feud with Randy Orton, it was clear that WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was going to need a new opponent heading into SummerSlam. The good news is that now he knows exactly who his opponent will be – after the two top contenders fought on tonight’s edition of Smackdown Live. That person is none other than Shinsuke Nakamura.
— WWE (@WWE) August 2, 2017
Shinsuke Nakamura earned the opportunity after defeating John Cena. The match was made last week on Smackdown Live by General Manager Daniel Bryan, in response to Jinder Mahal demanding a higher quality of opponent.
It marks the first time the two have fought inside a WWE ring together. John Cena and Nakamura is considered something of a dream match by indie wrestling fans – and the match they put on certainly lived up to expectations.
I was genuinely surprised that Nakamura ended up getting a clean win – if only because the story WWE were telling seemed to suggest that John Cena would be chasing his record-breaking 17th Championship reign. As it stands, Nakamura will now advance to SummerSlam and face off against Jinder Mahal – in what promises to be a very interesting match.
Mahal’s WWE Championship reign hasn’t enjoyed the best of runs thus far. Not entirely his fault – being landed in a thankless feud with Randy Orton wouldn’t help anyone have great matches. But there’s a feeling that his anti-USA gimmick just hasn’t connected with live audiences – who seem largely indifferent to his heel antics. It also probably doesn’t help that he hasn’t been winning his matches clean – relying heavily on the Singh Brothers to overcome Orton during their last three pay-per-view matches.
With SummerSlam being the biggest WWE event of the summer, and Nakamura considered an internet darling, it will be very interesting to see if WWE give him the Championship so soon after arriving on the main roster.
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