Do U.S. Promotions Just Push Wrestlers at Random?

Here is a random pairing if there ever was one. Beyond the surface one can spot some similarities between the two. Both had fairly forgettable runs in mainstream American promotions. Orlando Jordan managed to have a run with the WWE United States Heavyweight Championship, one of the most prestigious upper-midcard titles in the history of professional wrestling. Despite doing practically nothing with the title for nearly six months before dropping it in a comically short match he can still name it as an accomplishment. Yuji Nagata on the other hand has no similar accomplishments to speak of from his work in WCW, matches with Ultimo Dragon notwithstanding.

Nagata is hands down the superior worker. You’d have to look long and hard to find anyone who knows anything about the in-ring product in wrestling who disagrees. There is a reason OJ got the push over Nagata though. Unfortunately, speaking English and being able to do mic work no matter how lame it is goes a long way in determining who is pushed in mainstream American wrestling. That is why it is unfortunate that WWE and TNA have forgotten about managers. It is true that Yuji Nagata had Sonny Onoo, but that guy didn’t get anyone over in WCW. Dragon got over to an extent under Onoo, but it was nearly exclusively because of his in-ring work and not Onoo. If Nagata was paired with James Mitchell who was there around that time as James Vandenberg and WCW’s writers actually gave a darn he too could have been a credible U.S. Championship holder.

As for the match itself, it is pretty good with OJ pulling his weight though he is a little sloppy. He has certainly come a long way from his WWE days. Perhaps that match with The Ultimate Warrior gave him some perspective. At one point he even hits a beautiful elbow drop from off the top. Nagata is a technical wizard as always and ends the encounter with a release northern lights suplex followed by a crossface.

Categories: Wrestling Clips

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