Finn Balor failed to capitalise on his rematch against Samoa Joe after the champion hit a Musclebuster from the top rope to retain his NXT crown inside of a steel cage at TakeOver: The End.
That seems to mark the end of their aggressive feud, with Balor now turning his attention to Shinsuke Nakamura fans are now wondering what’ll be next for the champion regarding potential contenders.
Other than Balor, there aren’t many solid contenders who can slot into that position and replace The Demon at the top. With the focus now turning to TakeOver: Brooklyn II, here are the five superstars that could not only face off against Joe for the title but eventually dethrone him.
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It’s unfortunate that Hideo Itami feels like the forgotten man on NXT, it wasn’t too long ago the wrestling industry was buzzing over the news that Itami was signing with NXT and after a rocky start, he was destined for big things.
Like some WWE stars, Itami was struck down with an injury too and valuable time has been wasted, by now he could have been the top star on NXT, and it’ll be a tough journey to reach the top again.
Itami is a favourite amongst the NXT Universe, though, which means a surprise return could be the perfect trigger needed for Itami to become relevant once more, when that happens, remains to be seen. This also means Itami would be a face upon his return, and right now there’s no bigger heel on NXT than Samoa Joe.
Joe deserves to be on the main roster, so he shouldn’t stay on NXT for too long because he can be a valuable asset to either show. NXT will need a good, face champion and Itami is one of the perfect options to go with.
This will be the big surprise if it is to happen. It’s only a matter of time before Bobby Roode appears on NXT television after so many ramblings online suggesting he’s going to be signing with the company. Not only that, but the former TNA World Champion was also on the road with NXT at the Download Fest in the UK so that it could be happening sooner rather than later.
The good thing about having a Roode and Joe feud over the NXT Champion, other than rubbing it in the faces of their rival company, is that it’s a foolproof feud. There’s nothing that can go wrong here as the two of them have known each other for so long and shared the ring on plenty of occasions.
That means they have the chemistry; they can go out there and steal the show and sell-out arenas and have the audience interested. Roode is also very different from any star we’ve seen on NXT so it’ll be interesting to see the sort of dynamic he brings.
While Joe can stay on NXT and succeed, the same applies to Roode. It doesn’t matter whether he’s a heel or a face on NXT because he can excel in both roles superbly. He’s not even on NXT television yet, but I can already see him holding that title high above his head with Joe flat on his back.
Shinsuke Nakamura will probably be the first name fans call for when referring to an NXT Championship number one contender, no star in the history of NXT has had the sort of impact Nakamura has had since arriving on the scene.
From the second his music hits, the audience is captivated by what the King of Strong Style has to bring, and it’s that immense popularity – along with his ridiculous arsenal of moves – which will help him become a top champion in the company.
It’s clear that if he isn’t included in the WWE draft, then he’ll be used in the main event spot and right now there is no better feud to be involved in than a championship feud with Joe. It makes perfect sense to go through Balor and establish himself as the most serious threat to Joe, and TakeOver seems like the perfect setting for Nakamura to make NXT his own.
Austin Aries is an interesting choice, mainly because he’s edging towards the heel persona rather than a face following his feud with Nakamura, of course, this can change very quickly and it should if he’s going to be considered as an opponent for Joe.
Nevertheless, if Nakamura is occupied with Balor and Roode still isn’t on NXT television, this should be the best option to move forward with, and it’s strikingly similar to what we could witness to a Joe and Roode feud.
They’re both TNA veterans and helped build the company what it is today, it’s clear that they’ll have brilliant chemistry on the microphone and inside of the ring as well so it’s another feud which shouldn’t fail, and fans will be into it from the moment it begins.
The only question mark surrounding feuds between TNA stars is the WWE’s willingness to put a lot of importance towards stars that established themselves on the rival company, but until that happens there’s no reason this feud can’t take place.
Aries is a fantastic competitor; he excels in every area, and there’s no reason why he can’t dethrone Joe, who doesn’t need to stay on NXT for much longer.
Do you think any of these stars are capable enough of dethroning Samoa Joe? Have your say in the comments section below.