Despite the two promotions being (almost) on opposite sides of the planet and their respective styles of wrestling being extremely different, there has always been something of a tentative link between WWE and Japanese pro wrestling. From Hulk Hogan wrestling The Great Muta all the way back in 1993 to the ever-strengthening links between WWE and New Japan in the present day. Some of WWE’s current top stars are ones that honed their craft competing for NJPW, in fact, you need to look no further than current WWE Champion AJ Styles for the best example of that. Chris Jericho is currently proving however that Superstars can also move the opposite way. Here are five wrestlers currently with WWE that might want to consider following in Y2J’s footsteps.
There are plenty of Superstars who are underrated and undervalued on the WWE roster right now. It’s part and parcel of the current product with the sheer amount of talent in the company at any one time. Not everybody can have a top spot. Yet, nobody has been patiently waiting for his time for longer than Cesaro. Despite being an incredible in-ring performer, the Swiss Cyborg has never been able to rise any higher than the mid-card, currently performing in a tag team with Sheamus. Surely, Cesaro can only take so much of being constantly overlooked. The fans in New Japan would love the European pro wrestler. Despite not being the biggest guy, he is easily one of the strongest in WWE right now and he could wow Japanese crowds with his incredible feats of strength.
4. Sami Zayn
Another man who is currently being extremely underutilized in WWE up until recently is Sami Zayn. While in NXT, The Underdog was presented exactly how he should have been, as one of the best in-ring performers in the world. For some reason that hasn’t quite translated to his time on the main roster. It isn’t until now that Zayn has even been used in a top angle, let alone had a shot at one of WWE’s two World Titles. Even now that he is involved in a prominent storyline, Zayn is only acting as a sidekick to Kevin Owens. Even though he is doing a terrific job in doing so, you’d have to imagine that once this angle is done he will return to mediocrity. New Japan would love Sami Zayn and just imagine the matches he could have with the likes of Naito and Okada.
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3. Shinsuke Nakamura
Some wrestlers can feel like the absolute biggest thing before they arrive in WWE, then they take that final stepping stone and arrive at the real big time and it simply doesn’t translate. Fans who haven’t seen Shinsuke Nakamura‘s work before he arrived in WWE might not realize that he is an example of that. There’s no doubt that The King of Strong Style has charisma and bags of talent, but there is something missing from his time in Japan. Even when competing in NXT, he still didn’t feel like the whole package. Some nights, it feels closer than others, but it’s starting to seem like the only place you’ll see the real Nakamura at his absolute best is when he’s wrestling in his home country.
2. Daniel Bryan
There are a few things in wrestling right now that simply won’t go away no matter how much WWE tries to shake them. One of those things is what’s next for Daniel Bryan‘s career. Two years ago, the former World Champion retired, but he is refusing to officially call time on his career. There are rumors that WWE may clear Bryan for competition sometime soon, but chances are they won’t, and that will mean the SmackDown Live GM goes elsewhere to resume his career. Where better than the second biggest wrestling promotion in the world right now? Chris Jericho made Wrestle Kingdom 12 a big deal, imagine how much bigger Wrestle Kingdom 13 would be if it marked the return to the ring of Daniel Bryan.
1. Balor Club
The last couple of weeks on Raw have marked the long-awaited reunion of Finn Balor with his old friends Gallows and Anderson. The three of them worked together as part of the world famous Bullet Club in Japan and many fans have been waiting for WWE to tip their cap to that in this way. Two weeks in, it’s so far so good for the aptly named Balor Club. Considering how all three men have been treated individually up until this point though, you’d have to imagine that there aren’t big plans for Balor Club. What would be big is if all three men upped and left WWE so they could once again compete in New Japan. Balor Club versus Bullet Club at Wrestle Kingdom 13? Count us in.
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