The NXT brand is making a valiant effort to produce quality entertainment leading to the highly-anticipated TakeOver: Orlando event. At the recent NXT special, TakeOver: San Antonio, Bobby Roode was able to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura to win his first championship since joining the WWE roster in June of 2016. With his uber-popular “Glorious” tagline, Roode dethroned the Japanese sensation, much to the awe of spectators both at the venue and watching on the WWE Network.
WWE also informed the WWE Universe that Nakamura suffered a knee injury during that match, which viewers saw the impact the injury had during the match, leading to his defeat. However, fans were informed that the injury was not severe, and he is heading on a path to redemption in hopes to win his third NXT Championship.
“This marks significant progress since WWE.com last had an update on the former NXT Champion, which included WWE Performance Center staff informing the Japanese Superstar his knee injury would not require surgery.”
“Now that the popular grappler is getting back in the ring, it may not be long before we see him back in NXT. And, once Nakamura returns, it may only be a matter of time before he sets his sights on Bobby Roode and his NXT Championship.”
Before this happens, however, there is one person that will be a major hurdle for Roode: none other than Kassius Ohno.
Known to many fans as Chris Hero, his work in a number of difference wrestling promotions – including Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Combat Zone Wrestling, and EVOLVE – developed a strong enough following for him to be recruited for NXT in 2012. Unfortunately, his stint only lasted a little over a year, as he was released due to him being unhappy with his lack of push, as well as WWE not being happy with his physique.
Despite the release, WWE decided to give Hero one more chance, and Ohno was reborn. He officially made his return in early 2017, coming to ring to confront then-NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
As a result of his return, WWE has announced that he will immediately be thrust in the title picture, as he is scheduled to face Bobby Roode during the set of NXT tapings occurring on February 22.
— Triple H (@TripleH) February 13, 2017
While there were major rumblings of Samoa Joe joining the main roster after his feud with Nakamura, it does not appear that fans will see the two-time NXT Champion on Raw or SmackDown Live anytime soon.
Although Nakamura would be a much-needed babyface to bring a stronger sense of relevance on that side of the table, especially to feud with names such as The Miz or Dolph Ziggler, that fact that he will be a part of the Feb. 22 taping, which is expected to be the last set of tapings before WrestleMania, shows that he will remain in NXT at least until after WrestleMania.
If Nakamura loses to Roode at TakeOver: Orlando, it could be a major sign of things to come. It also brings a level of interest that Ohno is already in the title hunt, as he may be slated to assume the lead babyface role as Nakamura transitions away from NXT.
In the midst of this, Triple H is still doing everything he can to make NXT regain the hype and excitement that it once did, just a short time ago. Admitting himself that he is dissatisfied with the current product as a whole, bringing former names in may help regain the steam. For fans of NXT, the hope is a strong roster would propel the company to heights that it has never achieved before.
[Featured Image by WWE]