• By Anthony Cox, Kayfabe Kickout Senior Columnist

KENTA Is Here! Now What?

I must say that I am intrigued by WWE’s signing of Japanese star KENTA. I have always been a fan of wrestling promotions signing the best available talent from around the world to their rosters. It adds something different if you ask me. With KENTA on the roster, WWE has a guy who has built up a great reputation over the years, the originator of the “Go to Sleep” finisher, and someone who was given a seal of approval on the WWE Japan tour by none other than Hulk Hogan. With all of these accolades heading into WWE’s NXT roster what can go wrong? I hope that you folks all felt the sarcasm in the last sentence I had just written. Back in 2010, WWE made a huge deal about another big time international box office draw. They held a press conference for the guy, and hyped him up big time prior to his WWE debut. Of course, I am talking about Mistico or as he was known in WWE, Sin Cara. There was a lot of hype, and in exchange we got a guy who gave us botched moves, injuries, and even a wellness policy violation. Now I am not saying that KENTA will run into the same things. WWE learned from their mistakes with Sin Cara, and will make sure KENTA spends time in developmental before heading to the main roster. There is that fear in the back of my mind that he somehow won’t get over despite the fact that he is well known internationally. When an American wrestler from WWE heads to Japan, they tend to be well known already. When Japanese guys come here they are just “Japanese guys” to the mainstream wrestling fan. For a lot of fans, if the person isn’t speaking English then they aren’t worth their time. It’s not fair, it’s just an observation. KENTA needs to be treated like a legit bad ass. He doesn’t need some stereotypical Japanese character or any other Asian stereotypes. That means, put the green mist and salt away! That also means don’t book him like Yoshi Tatsu! Being that he may not speak much English, there are some things that they can do to help move his character along. Taped promos with subtitles or they can simply put him with a manager. Maybe after some time in developmental he can become the next Paul Heyman guy! I have an even better idea, put him with John Lauranitis! It would make sense since Lauranitis has connections to the Japanese wrestling world. I could see it where he “pulled some strings” to get Kenta over here to the United States. I am also wondering if they are going to let him use the GTS. I mean he is the one who came up with the move, but then again I am sure WWE wants to avoid uneducated fans making CM Punk chants too! Lastly, will they make him change his name? If I were WWE, I would just let him be KENTA. I think the name sells itself. Only time will tell if this will be a huge score for WWE in getting a huge international star, or if this will be a bust. It is all going to depend on how WWE decides to use him. It will also be up to KENTA to be able to connect with the audience. You can have all of the talent in the World, but if the fans don’t give a damn about you then it all means nothing in the end. I wish KENTA nothing but the best during WWE run. What do you the rest of you peeps out there think about KENTA coming to WWE? As always you can hit me up on Twitter @whosantcox.

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