Alongside Kyle O’Reilly’s massive win in the Eliminator Gauntlet, this week’s episode of NXT will be remembered for the first appearance of the NXT Insurgent.
Who or what is an insurgent, I hear you ask? Fortunately, I’m not referring to that awful Divergent sequel, but instead a former NXT champion that looks to rise up against the oppressive forces of authority and reshape NXT in their own image; the usual spiel from pro wrestlers.
Now, the video doesn’t give away too much as to who the mysterious insurgent might be, aside from that they’re a former champion. That could of course be one of many champions from NXT history, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be from the major NXT title line either. Many fans have already thrown their guesses into the hat, so we’re going to do the same.
1. Robert Roode
‘The Glorious’ Robert Roode has been kept off of television as of late thanks to travel restrictions between Canada and the US, but with some limitations now being lifted, it seems WWE are gearing up for Robert Roode’s return for the very near future. Some have even assumed that we might be seeing the former US, NXT and RAW Tag Champ appear as soon as next week, but I personally believe that it might not be in the manner we expect.
Instead, the former NXT Champion might be returning to his roots to once again remodel the brand under his own glorious image. Even though the whole ‘hacker’ shtick seems a little outside of Roode’s usual MO, this is WWE after all, and if anyone knows how to ruin a perfectly written character, it’s them.
Roode hasn’t exactly had the best luck on the main roster, and will likely return to minimal hype and severely lack in creative direction, so perhaps a trip back down to NXT is a great way to re-establish him as a major player.
2. Ember Moon
Like we mentioned before, the NXT Insurgent is indeed a former champion, but it may not necessarily mean the NXT Championship.
Ember Moon has been on the injured reserve list for quite some time, almost a year in fact, you’d think she’s approaching the time of her return by now. The former NXT Women’s champion could in fact be gearing up for a big return to NXT before resuming her plight on the main roster.
As per usual film tropes, whenever there’s a distorted voice, or one that sounds a little too much like a baritone male, chances are they’re female. Ember is quite techy in the sense that she has a YouTube channel and enjoys nerdy things like gaming, so it’s safe to guess that Triple H or Vinny Mac then assumed that she’d be the sort of person to hack into the system and wear NV goggles?
A return to NXT might be exactly what’s needed to finally get Ember Moon off the ground running, her first NXT Women’s championship run was a footnote in NXT history, she deserves to become way more than that.
3. Bo Dallas
A lot of predictions seem to be for Bo Dallas, who, believe it or not, was in fact a former NXT Champion.
This was indeed before the heyday of NXT, with him being dethroned by Neville after a fairly entertaining run as the brand’s top heel.Now having little to no credibility after being treated like a joke on the main roster, Bo Dallas might need to refresh his character and remind everyone just how great he can be when given the opportunity on NXT.
With Bo already going through a plethora of different gimmicks and attitudes, a slight flair for the hacker life might not be completely un(bo)lievable. For a guy that has been chewed up like he has after having relative success in NXT might coincide with the insurgent’s grievances. There’s plenty of reason to believe that Bo Dallas could have found his best calling yet.
It’d be great to see the other son of IRS to get some love in WWE, especially after seeing his big brother Bray having the run of his life as The Fiend.
4. Shinsuke Nakamura
One detail of the Insurgent’s video was a massive reference to the country of Japan. NXT is seeped with superstars of Japanese descent: Kairi Sane, Asuka and then of course former NXT Champ, Shinsuke Nakamura.
‘The King of Strong Style’ is currently embroiled in the SmackDown Tag title picture alongside Cesaro, making him one of the more unlikely choices for the NXT insurgent on this list, however after dropping in value so significantly on the main roster, there could be more than enough reason for Shin to return to his roots.
I’m sure fans of ‘The Artist’ wouldn’t be entirely against seeing Nakamura return to the black and gold brand to embrace that killer shoot style of his, even as a huge Nak-fan, I find it hard to watch his toned down style on the main roster.
There are plenty of matches for Shinsuke to indulge in as part of the new NXT roster, and especially after seeing the wonders it has done for Finn Balor’s career, Nakamura would likely find a new lease on life as part of the crew.
5. Neville (PAC)
Again, another very unlikely scenario here, but what if we’re about to witness the very first ship-jump from AEW back to NXT?
PAC (or Neville) was the first NXT success story, hitting the main roster after achieving all there was to achieve on the NXT brand. He became NXT champion and battled in some instant classics against Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and more. There’s no doubt that NXT is where PAC formed his following.
As part of AEW, PAC hasn’t really hit his stride. Yes, COVID has kept ‘The Bastard’ from travelling to Jacksonville for tapings, but even before then he was seemingly second-rate compared to the top guns of the roster, even after beating Kenny Omega on a couple occasions. PAC could very well be better suited to the world of WWE, especially after his fantastic run as a heel Cruiserweight Champion.
This is incredibly unlikely, especially with Tony Khan money on the table, but who knows? Surprises await us around every corner in amidst ratings wars, maybe NXT are pulling a coup on those that they once lost?
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