Shinsuke Nakamura didn't wrestle Monday night in Bakersfield, CA. He won't be making his United States Championship match against Jeff Hardy on SmackDown either.
Because he was bitten by a police dog.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer confirmed that Nakamura suffered a bite on the leg Monday in Bakersfield.
Nakamura didn’t work SmackDown’s Monday night house show in Bakersfield, California, and Dave Meltzer has confirmed that Nakamura was bit in the leg by a police dog at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield yesterday.
Whether or not Nakamura will be able to wrestle at WWE’s house shows in Japan this weekend is uncertain at this point.
WWE has yet to release a statement on the matter. But the Bakersfield Police Department did release their comments.
“On Monday, June 25, 2018, officers of the Bakersfield Police Department Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Team were conducting a protective sweep of the Rabobank Arena in preparation for the WWE Live Summerslam Heatwave Tour.
During the sweep, the EOD Team, which consisted of an explosive detection trained canine team and bomb technicians entered an area of the arena where an employee of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was present. The canine entered the room to sweep for the presence of any explosive material. As the sweep took place the WWE employee was accidentally bit by the canine. The employee sustained an injury to his lower left leg. Medical aid was immediately summoned to the scene and the employee was transported to a local area hospital for medical treatment”
Nakamura looks to be healing, but he did show up at WWE's shows in Japan using a pair of crutches. However, he did get physical in the ring, but only in little skirmishes rather than an official match.0comments
Without a medical degree or WWE's statement, we can consider Nakamura questionable for SMakcDown—at least in terms of competing. But it is likely we see him long enough for a promo. With the dog attack narrative, Nakamura has a great opportunity to turn life into art and use his wounds to empower his heel character.
At the moment, Nakamura is in the early chapters of a US Championship feud with Jeff Hardy. Before his injury, Nakamura was slated to challenge Hardy for the title on Smackdown but was replaced by Eric Young. For now, expect Nakamura and Hardy to dedicate their SmackDown airtime to building for an Extreme Rules match.