On WWE Network's Bring It To The Table, WWE Monday Night RAW's Corey Graves and SmackDown Live's John 'Bradshaw' Layfield shared their thoughts on a number of topics including Shinsuke Nakamura's upcoming in-ring debut on WWE's main roster, whether experience on the indies equates to passion for pro wrestling, and Jinder Mahal's recent rise up the ranks of WWE SmackDown Live.
Apparently, WWE is holding off on Nakamura's in-ring debut on the main roster for Backlash and JBL praised this decision as 'The King Of Strong Style' is a special attraction like The Undertaker, who maintained his mystique in part by appearing on WWE TV sparingly.
"Look, this Shinsuke Nakamura is that special. He is a special attraction and I guarantee you it is worth the wait. Wait until you see this guy perform in the ring. He is that unique. He is that good. But also, to me, you keep this guy special. It's kind of like The Undertaker in the 2000s. You don't want to see him every week! Fans would say, 'yes', 'yes, I want to see Undertaker every week.' But you keep it special. This guy is that different. He's that good. He needs to be special."
During the show, Graves talked about not wanting to give Baron Corbin a chance in developmental because 'The Lone Wolf' was not from the indies.
"When I arrived at FCW at the time, we were stocked with the independent stars at the time, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Neville, Kassius Ohno, all these guys who paid their dues, made their living traveling around, ultimately with the goal of coming to the WWE. So when someone like a Baron Corbin walked in the doors, we all kind of turned our noses up at him, 'this guy played football - he's not one of us,' because we used the independents and the blood that you put in more to measure your passion."
Graves continued, "he would ask me, every week, we'd ride to these shows across Florida, 'can I ride with you, can I ride with you, can I ride with you?' It was, 'naw, naw, naw.' Finally, I got stuck in a car with him for about four hours and he picked my brain and asked me every single question he could think of about being on the indies, why I would do it, how I made money, all these different things because he was developing the passion."
According to JBL, bragging about being on the indies for 15 years is like bragging about being stuck in the minor leagues.
"Why is it a badge of honour to say you spent 15 years in AA ball? We knew that AJ Styles might be the best in the world. We didn't realize that until he got to WWE." JBL continued, "to me, you get into this business to make money and to make a name for yourself. And the fact that you're on the indies for 15 years is not a badge of honor. It's saying you're stuck in AA ball."
On the recent and surprise success of Jinder Mahal, JBL claimed that the opportunity is a one-shot deal for the unhindered Jinder.
"Jinder Mahal now has the keys to the car and it's up to him. It's either sink or swim." JBL continued, "I think this is a one-shot deal for Jinder, but he has got the opportunity and that is all that is important."
JBL posited that Mahal has earned this huge opportunity and that he thinks 'The New American Dream' is a future world champ.
"Jinder has got himself in shape. He has earned this opportunity and I am pulling for him to have a hell of a match with Randy Orton." JBL opined, "it all hinges on this match and I hope that he delivers. He's there with one of the best of all time in Randy Orton and I think he will. And I think he's a future WWE Champion. I don't know if it happens at the next pay-per-view, but I think he has done a fantastic job."
Graves admitted that he never would have expected Mahal to be the breakout star of 3MB.
"Jinder's a guy who got released from WWE from being part of 3MB. All three members of 3MB, Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre is now back in NXT, they've all kind of reinvented themselves, they're all on a different career path. Who knows? I definitely wouldn't have picked Jinder to be the breakout star of the group, but we'll find out at Backlash if maybe that's what's meant to be."
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Source: Bring It To The Table