At NXT’s Super Tuesday event, a decisive winner was finally crowned in Finn Balor, who is now entering his second NXT Championship reign. With Adam Cole now behind him, closing the ordeal with a show of respect via a shared ‘Too Sweet’ backstage, we look to the next potential crop of challengers for ‘The Prince’s’ NXT title.
Who could step up to the main event scene and challenge the standard bearer for the black and gold brand?
The last time we saw Finn Balor sport the NXT Championship, we witnessed some pretty incredible title matches between ‘The Extraordinary Man’ and the likes of Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura. Hopefully Balor can start clawing back the fame and credibility he once held in NXT, as since his return for the sake of the Wednesday Night Wars, his presence hasn’t quite matched that of 2015/16.
With the roster being as stacked as it is, there’s no way we won’t see a higher calibre of matches from Finn, and hopefully this will lead to him being treated like the star attraction he is for NXT.
Who do you think should be the first NXT superstar to challenge Finn Balor? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Prior to the pandemic taking full effect, Finn Balor was being positioned for a shot at the NXT UK Champion, WALTER. Over time, the idea of these two men clashing has grown into a bit of a dream match, one which could turn NXT UK on its head and bring a whole new level of acclaim to the brand. Now that Finn is a champion in his own right, this potential contest has become a lot more interesting.
NXT UK seems to be going under a bit of a rebrand, with their return to the WWE Network scheduled for next week. WALTER is undoubtedly going to return to his former main event stature and continue his dominant reign as UK Champ. Hopefully, he wouldn’t have forgotten about the seeds planted by Imperium for his looming programme with Balor.
Perhaps a NXT Champion vs NXT Champion feud could be the exact thing to inject some life back into the brand as they continue to war with AEW Dynamite. This match will surely be a huge draw for whatever TakeOver it ends up on, whether that be the US NXT or UK branch. Make it happen NXT!
2. Kyle O’Reilly
Primarily, Kyle O’Reilly of the Undisputed Era has wrestled as part of a tag team alongside either Roderick Strong or long-time partner Bobby Fish. Throughout his many NXT Tag title reigns, he’s proven to be one of the more popular members of the stable, next to Adam Cole. O’Reilly oozes charisma and has a limitless supply of wrestling talent. Fans love watching O’Reilly do his thing, so maybe he’s a success story waiting to happen in the singles division.
UE have sort of hit a brick wall now that Adam Cole has failed at reclaiming the NXT Championship, and they seem to be drifting away from the Tag titles to allow newer teams to reap success. This is absolutely the right move, although if they’re not planning on a call-up anytime soon, then perhaps it’s time to reshuffle the hierarchy and allow some of the other members to shine.
Roderick Strong has occasionally competed in singles matches, quite recently defeating Killian Dain and establishing a minor feud with he and Drake Maverick. A far cry from what Undisputed Era are typically involved with.
O’Reilly/Balor could be a massive way to regain some stock for UE, and also be an incredible match in the process. Not to mention the chance for more air guitar.
3. Pete Dunne
‘The Bruiserweight’ has been kept off of NXT TV due to the travel restrictions placed on the UK, which has really derailed his momentum since winning the NXT Tag titles with Matt Riddle. This came as no fault of his own, but he really needs something to get back on the rails.
Pete Dunne was originally considered one of NXT’s top guys, competing against Adam Cole for the NXT title at the first interpromotional WWE pay-per-view and being positioned to eventually become the next ‘guy’. It’s time to get him back on track.
A match with Balor is essentially the clash between two of the best stars to ever come out of the British independent scene, their styles match up perfectly and would likely be a show-stealer. Whether Pete Dunne is the right challenger to dethrone ‘The Prince’ is another argument entirely, but he’s definitely earned his place in the upper echelons of the NXT roster.
4. Tommaso Ciampa
‘The Blackheart’ returned and seemingly brought a new aggressive edge to NXT with him. Ciampa competed alongside the new NXT champion as part of last week’s huge fatal 4 way Iron Man match, but was ultimately unsuccessful in reclaiming Goldie. It doesn’t look like Tommaso Ciampa is going anywhere anytime soon, so there’s plenty more time for another shot at the title now that a new gunslinger is holding onto it.
Ciampa vs. Balor is money, and the NXT writers know that. They’ve yet to clash since Balor returned and surely the two would put together an awesome TakeOver-worthy dream match. Putting the NXT title on the line when they do would certainly make for a huge event. The former NXT champion still hasn’t quite wrapped up his comeback story, seeing as he never actually lost the belt in the first place, the final act of his story writes itself.
Could Tommaso be the one to challenge and take down the rejuvenated Finn Balor shortly after capturing the NXT championship?
5. Karrion Kross
Naturally the former champ who unfortunately had to vacate his title deserves another shot when he returns from injury. Karrion Kross was about to embark on his defining run as NXT Champion, after defeating Keith Lee at TakeOver: 30, but that was brought to a crushing halt by an untimely injury early on in the match. Since then, it was decided that a new champion would be decided, which eventually became Finn Balor.
It seemed like Balor was being positioned to challenge Kross for his title somewhere in the near future, perhaps leading to his redebut of the Demon persona that hasn’t actually appeared on NXT since his triumphant comeback. Whenever Kross is cleared to compete, there’s no doubt he’ll ensure that Finn is the first to know.
This match could very well be a barn burner, keep your eyes peeled for the return of Karrion Kross, the rightful NXT Champion.
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