3 Reasons Shinsuke Nakamura Should Defeat Samoa Joe at NXT TakeOver: Toronto


Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe, WWE.com

Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe will go head to head for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, and the King of Strong Style should come out on top.

It’s not uncommon for NXT TakeOver events to outshine the main roster pay-per-view occurring that same weekend. However, that may be a tall task this time around as the card for WWE Survivor Series is impressive. If NXT TakeOver: Toronto does end up outshining its main roster counterpart, it will likely be on the back of a superb main event between NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and challenger Samoa Joe.

This will be their first meeting since Nakamura took the title from Joe at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II. It capped an unbelievable rise to stardom in which he defeated Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and finally Joe, all while building an impressive undefeated streak that he still holds as of this writing. Will Nakamura’s streak come to a screeching halt in Toronto this Saturday? It may, but it shouldn’t.

The benefits of Nakamura continuing his NXT title reign are many. He is the perfect champion for the yellow brand right now and him holding onto the title is paramount to not only his success, but the success of NXT and Samoa Joe as well.

Shinsuke Nakamura


3. Nakamura Can Anchor NXT as a Touring Brand

One reason NXT has gained so much international success is their ability to bring in recognizable superstars. One of these superstars is former NXT Champion Finn Balor. Balor came over after a long, successful career in Japan where he was known as Prince Devitt. Then he came to NXT, changed his name, worked his way up the card, and carried the brand as NXT Champion as they toured all over the world. Aside from the name change, that journey sounds awfully similar to that of Nakamura, and that’s why Nakamura should be the one to carry NXT on his back for the time being.

Make no mistake, Samoa Joe was and could be a great champion. But he simply does not have the international admiration that Nakamura does. Whenever NXT heads overseas, he is an attraction that makes the shows must-see for the fans over there. Many of them got to see Nakamura build his brand and become a bonafide star. Now that he’s made it to the big time, it’s a big deal for them to be able to see him again. That international name recognition and level of superstardom is just not something Joe has, at least not to the degree of Nakamura.

And this name recognition and ability to put butts in seats are a necessity for NXT right now. They’re still going through a transitional period with so many of their former stars now on the main roster thanks to the draft. Thus, being able to advertise Nakamura as a main-eventer and champion for live shows is vital to maintaining fan interest. Until they can develop and/or sign a few more big names, NXT should rely on Nakamura to carry them the same way Balor did.



2. It’s Time For a New Championship Feud

If Samoa Joe defeats Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, that means there will inevitably be another rematch between the two. Most likely, it would occur at the next TakeOver event since NXT Championship matches rarely take place on normal NXT television. That would make for a painfully slow burn in a feud that in reality has only been going on for about four months, but feels like it has been much longer. Perhaps that’s because Joe is involved in the feud, meaning he’s been either pursuing or holding the NXT Championship for nearly a year (his first title shot was against Balor at TakeOver: London on December 16, 2015).

It’s time for something different. Rather than extending this feud for what would likely be another three months at least, someone else should enter the main event scene and challenge Nakamura. But before that can happen, the King of Strong Style needs to vanquish Joe and remove him from the title picture altogether. What he would do after that, we’ll get to in a moment. But let’s say Joe is defeated this Saturday. Who would be next in line?

The most obvious choice is Bobby Roode who seems destined for an NXT title reign. Equipped with a glorious theme song and the mic skills and in-ring prowess to match, he would be a perfect successor to Nakamura at some point. At the very least, it would make for some high-profile title matches that we’ve never seen before.

Samoa Joe, NXT Orlando


1. It Opens the Door For Joe to Be Called Up to the Main Roster

NXT is consistently praised for its great storytelling, and for good reason. It seems like whenever there’s a chance to bookend a great feud and send it off the right way, the yellow brand makes it happen. Think back to Bayley’s title win over Sasha Banks, or Finn Balor being sent off by losing to Nakamura. NXT matches are often very predictable, but it doesn’t matter because the result made so much sense to the story, making it satisfying regardless. That could be what happens here for Samoa Joe.

Joe has been in NXT for about a year and a half now. Considering the fact that he never really needed to go there to begin with as he was already an established star, that’s an awfully long time. With that said, this would be the perfect time and perfect way to send him off. If he loses to Nakamura, he’ll no longer be owed a rematch and he can be phased out of NXT in the smoothest way possible.

That would open the door for him to move up to either Raw or SmackDown, and whichever show he ends up on would benefit from his presence. He’s an immediate difference maker; someone who can be plugged into any spot on the card and be effective. And what better time for him to join a main roster brand than the pay-per-view that pits them against each other and occurs just one day after TakeOver? Joe losing on Saturday and appearing at Survivor Series on Sunday is very much on the table, and is one of the many reasons Nakamura should come out on top in Toronto.

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