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The Grapevine (2/5/16): A Shiny New Name


Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Grapevine! This is our daily post rounding up all the interesting rumors from the wild, wild world of pro wrestling that you may have missed over the evening.


  • The plan for Shinsuke Nakamura is to eventually be brought to the main roster after going through a transition period in NXT first. His WWE contract is a standard-length three-year deal. While there have been rumors that WWE bought the rights to his NJPW theme, "Subconscious", Nakamura is going to get new theme music instead. To add to that, even though he'll be known as Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT, that may not necessarily be the case when he debuts on the main roster. (Source: WON, @enuhito_eng)


We say: We have no problems seeing Nakamura kick some knees into the faces of the NXT roster, even if it's just for a quick while. Having new theme music isn't such a bad thing either, unless they recycle the theme they gave Jushin "Thunder" Liger during his match against Tyler Breeze at TakeOver: Brooklyn. What will bother us is if Nakamura actually gets a new ring name when he debuts on the main roster. That's one surefire way to treat your audiences like idiots. We already know that Shinsuke Nakamura's coming to WWE, and that he'll be appearing on NXT under that name. Giving him a new name when he gets called up to RAW is just insulting our intelligence, unless this new name actually has some context that makes sense (See: Curtis Axel).

  • Dean Ambrose was originally supposed to eliminate AJ Styles in this year's Royal Rumble match. They changed the plan later on to have Kevin Owens do it, which was better in the long run, given the reaction Styles had upon debuting. Apparently, WWE officials didn't know how the fans would react to AJ when he debuted, but looking back, they realized it was better to have Kevin Owens eliminate AJ because it would get Owens the right kind of heat from the fans. 

On a related note, both AJ Styles and Doc Gallows signed action figure deals with the toy company Figures, Inc., and their figures are scheduled for release soon. This might just upset Vince McMahon because the Figures, Inc. toys are coming out before the official WWE figures. For reference, Figures, Inc. was supposed to release a Kevin Steen action figure before WWE could release a Kevin Owens one, and that made Vince really upset. What makes this situation worse is that AJ Styles is still known under the same name in WWE. (Source: WON)

We say: Are WWE officials that dense that they didn't realize a phenomenal ovation for the Phenomenal One in Orlando? At least they realized that having Owens eliminate AJ was the better move. As for the action figures, if Styles and Gallows signed them with Figures, Inc. before they were inked to WWE deals, then WWE doesn't really have a right to bitch about that, do they? If Vince wants to beat Figures, Inc., then he should just put some pressure on Mattel to speed up the production of their AJ and Gallows action figures.


  • Braun Strowman vs. the Undertaker is still the tentative plan for WrestleMania Star, but there are other ideas being thrown around for Strowman. One idea is to put him in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Another is to have him tag with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan against the Big Show, Kane, and the Undertaker. Nobody knows for sure what Taker's input on this is, but he does have a say on who his opponent might be. Some have already assumed that Taker has already said no, and claim that Taker would rather face Kevin Owens, Sting (if that's even possible), Finn Bálor, and two other unnamed wrestlers. (Sources: PWInsider, WON, F4WOnline)

We say: Honestly, we can buy into anything as long as Creative books it well. But since we can't trust Creative to do just that, then we might as well hope that Taker himself doesn't want to face Strowman at WrestleMania. What this does tell us is that the Undertaker is most probably not retiring in Dallas, because a match against Braun Strowman is not exactly retirement-match quality. A match against Kevin Owens or Finn Bálor, though... Either of those ideas could be game-changers.

  • And finally, Cesaro has been advertised to be part of WWE's Germany tour for next week, which includes four live events. However, Cesaro is not expected to wrestle.

We say: Cesaro's obviously there because they need someone who speaks German and can connect with the audience. At least they aren't forcing him to work injured. We need the Swiss Superman back in our lives, though.

What do you think? Should Shinsuke Nakamura be called Shiny McNamara (or anything else) when he debuts on the main roster? Who would you want to be the Undertaker's opponent for WrestleMania Star? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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