At NXT TakeOver: Rival in February, Sami Zayn’s short stint as NXT Champion came to a destructive end at the hands of Kevin Owens and his run as champion hasn’t looked to be in jeopardy since.
There were plenty of contenders for Kevin Owens, serious competitors who could actually dethrone Owens but NXT lost one of the top contenders and brightest stars to the main roster just a night after WrestleMania 31 when Adrian Neville finally made his move to the main roster, defeating Curtis Axel.
Neville moving was a big loss to the NXT and another contender out of the way for Kevin Owens, and this week rumours were flying around that that another popular NXT star, Finn Balor, and a contender for the NXT Championship could be appearing on Monday Night Raw.
Although we now know Finn Balor didn’t appear on Monday Night Raw even before WrestleMania 31 there was talk amongst the WWE that they wanted to bring both Finn Balor and Neville to the main roster as early as WrestleMania 31 week.
Neville got the call-up and has impressed ever since but speculation will continue to run strong surrounding Finn Balor and his move to the main roster. He is on the European tour and was backstage on Raw and even teased an appearance.
BÁLOR MIGHT NOT BE NXT CHAMPION
Balor is still expected to move to the main roster relatively soon, which means the WWE may wait until the NXT tapings involving Balor have ended and he can move to the main roster.
This also suggests that Finn Balor – as popular as he is on NXT – won’t capture the NXT Championship before moving up to the main roster.
This could be a risky move from the WWE, capturing the NXT Championship will make him an even bigger name and give him an even bigger reputation going into the main roster much like Seth Rollins and Neville.
Whilst we’ve also seen that being the NXT Champion won’t always guarantee you main roster success, as we’re seeing with Big E and Bo Dallas who are stuck on the mid or even lower card, Balor has the credentials to succeed as a main roster star and the fan support behind him means not capturing the NXT Championship won’t be the end of the world for him.
Balor not being in title winning contention means that Sami Zayn will ultimately remain the top contender for a while, and the WWE have been planning for current champion Kevin Owens to have a lengthy run as NXT Champion so regardless of any titles matches in the coming months, he is expected to retain his title.
CONTENDERS FOR OWENS
Alongside Sami Zayn, Alex Riley could be challenging Kevin Owens for the title after the two continued to hurl abuse at one another on their Twitter accounts, whilst Rhyno has been vocal about wanting the championship and a victory over him would be huge for Owens.
NXT writers now face the task of building up future NXT Championship contenders. They did a fantastic job with Neville, Tyler Breeze, Sami Zayn and even Tyson Kidd when he came down to NXT and revived his career.
NXT has the talent available, Hideo Itami is a fan favourite and we’ve seen hints from Itami and Owens that the two are destined to face off for the gold but Itami does need a number of interesting feuds to remain over.
Baron Corbin has a great look about him, but his moves inside of the ring are limited and so is his ability on the microphone which could hold him back, but he’s in the perfect place to hone his skills and with a good fan base he too could be in contention and physically match Kevin Owens.
Solomon Crowe is another highly talented superstar who has done it all on the independent scene. He has a solid group of fans who want him to reunite with Dean Ambrose one day but for now his focus needs to be on taking over NXT and capture the championship.
He’s got the in-ting ability, he’s fantastic on the microphone, and all he needs is a feud to catapult him into title contention.
What do you think WWE fans? Is it time for Balor on the main roster? Or does he need an NXT title to legitimize his move? Let us know in the comments section below...
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