WWE Chairman Vince McMahon reportedly isn't happy with Shinsuke Nakamura after the former NXT champion inadvertently dropped John Cena on his head during a match on the Aug. 1 edition of SmackDown Live.
However, according to Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso, McMahon still "has not lost faith" in Nakamura's abilities.
Nakamura beat Cena to become the No. 1 contender and earn a challenge for Jinder Mahal's WWE Championship at SummerSlam on Aug. 20.
During the SmackDown bout, Nakamura hit an inverted exploder suplex that caused Cena to land on the back of his head. Afterward, Nakamura appeared to apologize to the 16-time champion, to which Cena replied, "Don't be sorry." The exchange begins at the 3:20 mark of the video below:
While Cena is WWE's biggest star, it would be a shame if Nakamura's role with the company was affected by an accident in the ring—and one in which his opponent wasn't seriously hurt.
Nakamura has been treading water since his arrival on SmackDown Live in April. His feud with Dolph Ziggler was underwhelming, and he had a forgettable match with Baron Corbin at Battleground in July.
SummerSlam is an opportunity for Nakamura to potentially take Cena's spot as the top star on SmackDown Live. Cena's commitments outside of WWE are taking up an increasing amount of his time, and the Hollywood Reporter's Rebecca Ford reported he'll have a lead role in the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, with production beginning late last month in California.
SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan announced Tuesday night Cena will wrestle Corbin at SummerSlam.
Beating Mahal for the world title would position Nakamura—assuming he remains in McMahon's good graces—as one of the wrestlers who'll help fill the void Cena will inevitably leave on the blue brand when filming for Bumblebee.