Thursday, July 28, 2016

The better Nakamura / Balor match

Image credit: NJPW.
I am not the only one to express some level of disappointment in the good but not great battle between Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor that served as Balor's last big match on NXT. Some weird no sells and a lack of intensity at spots between the two overly friendly babyfaces made the match weak at times. It often lacked some of the strong style fire both men are known for, the same fire Nakamura and Zayn showed by the ton at Takeover: Dallas.

But the two men met once before in a New Japan ring near the end of the then-Prince Devitt's run with the company. During the second round of the New Japan Cup, the two men faced off in a hard hitting battle with the heel Devitt doing everything in his power to take down the former and future IWGP Intercontinental champion. It seemed like the set up for a new storyline as Nakamura would become embroiled in a feud with the Bullet Club soon enough. But that feud would be with Bad Luck Fale, as Devitt left New Japan less than a month after this match occurred.

I strongly suspect the original plan for Nakamura's spring feud was to be Devitt and Nakamura, spinning from this match, but clearly those plans changed.

Hopefully down the line, WWE will give them a bigger chance to shine against one another. For now, check out this classic battle between two future WWE legends.

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