The NXT Championship is the biggest prize available on NXT and the current champion is a main roster player, Kevin Owens.
He still appears on NXT television because the show is taped weeks in advance, and nobody would have predicted that he would rise to the main roster in a feud with John Cena so quickly.
With his success, it means he will definitely drop the NXT Championship soon as he focuses on the main roster and leaves NXT behind.
Two big names you would expect to pop up in the conversation and dethrone Kevin Owens include Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami; both of whom are injured and are huge losses to NXT. Their injuries will allow others to step up and impress, but it also means more stars need to step their game up and carry the brand which grows in popularity every single week.
Kevin Owens will definitely be a success on the main roster, he defeated John Cena clean in the middle of the ring at Elimination Chamber and has him in another match at Money in the Bank, so the NXT Championship will need to go to an NXT superstar who will be able to replace Kevin Owens at the top.
The most obvious name on the list is Samoa Joe. He made his debut at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable when he came face to face with Kevin Owens and this week he defeated Scott Dawson in his in-ring debut. It’s clear the tension is there between the two and the two will definitely face off as announced by William Regal.
Samoa Joe is a huge addition to NXT as he’s a massive name in the wrestling industry, and at one stage you would assume that Joe would never sign for the WWE, now that he’s here you can be sure he’ll do what he can to be a success and the first success could be the NXT Championship.
He’s experienced, he knows what he’s doing, he can wrestle and he can be the number one star on NXT with the title before potentially moving up, he’s the perfect star to dethrone Kevin Owens.
Finn Bálor probably has the next best chance at becoming the NXT Champion. He could be the champion as early as July 4 when he competes on the super card in Japan where he takes on Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship.
Bálor impresses on a weekly basis, and it’s clear that he’s more than ready to become the face of NXT and even move to the main roster. When the two go head to head, the fans will be behind Bálor who will effectively play the role of Sami Zayn in the feud, and it will be another feel good moment when Bálor becomes the champion.
He too has the experience, he has the fan support, and he has a unique look as well to replace Kevin Owens at the top of NXT.
Tyler Breeze is a massive talent even if some fans don’t believe it. He’s someone who is dedicated to his gimmick and never fails to entertain from the moment he appears on stage to the moment he walks back up the ramp.
He’s a reliable superstar, he’ll always step up in any match you need him to against any level of opponent. He’s mixed it up with some of the best and he’s had a number of chances to become the NXT Champion, but at the time it just felt like somebody else fit the bill a little better, such as Neville and Sami Zayn.
With the likes of Itami and Zayn injured and Owens on the main roster, Tyler Breeze will know he needs to step up and become a serious contender for the championship again. Even though he’s a heel on paper, he has solid fan support to take him all the way and the writers should capitalise on that before it really is too late for him to hold the title.
This would be a huge risk, but one that could well be worth it considering there is so much hype surrounding his eventual debut. Nobody knows when Uhaa Nation will actually make his in-ring debut, and we don’t even know his new name so it shows the WWE will take their time with him to make sure their investment and interest in him is worth it.
There would be a huge shock factor with this one, to turn up on your first night and dethrone Kevin Owens would be huge for Uhaa Nation and could be the start of a successful career in the WWE. With the others there’s not much of a surprise element to it as they would be expected to dethrone Owens and they’ve been there for a while to do so.
With Nation, nobody would really expect it or see it coming. He has the talent, but he’s unproven in the WWE so this one is a toss-up to see whether he is worth the risk. But with his look and incredible in-ring ability, he’s always a possibility.