Many believed that the purpose of having Finn Balor and Samoa Joe team up for the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Invitational was to eventually have either Joe or, more likely Balor, turn on their partner, which would begin a feud over the NXT Championship.
Following Wednesday’s NXT Takeover event, WWE posted a video of Joe and Balor celebrating being crowned the winners of the the tag-team tournament, but the celebration was short-lived, as Joe made it clear that he was coming after Balor’s NXT Title. NXT General Manager William Regal then intervened, and announced that there would be a battle royal to determine the next number one contender.
Joe was annoyed at Regal’s announcement, and said that he, more than anyone, deserves a shot at the NXT Championship because he’s completely ran through every opponent he’s faced since debuting. The segment only furthered fans’ speculation that Joe and Balor would end up feuding over the NXT Title starting next week.
While Joe or Balor may end up turning at some point, it appears that a one-on-one title match between the two won’t be taking place, as Apollo Crews, who debuted in NXT back in August, was named the new number one contender for the NXT Title after winning the number one contender’s battle royal.
Crews looked impressive in his debut match against Tye Dillinger at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, and he continued to look good in his match against Tyler Breeze at this past Wednesday’s NXT Takeover: Respect, where he defeated Breeze.
As previously stated, many thought that Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor would be the next NXT Championship feud, and that feud could still be on the table, but with Apollo Crews being added to it, making it a triple-threat match.
Crews getting a title shot this early in his NXT career may surprise some, however, Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer has noted that Crews is going to get a big push due to his physique, and he also noted that he wouldn’t be surprised if Crews was called up to the main roster after a brief run in NXT.
NXT’s next Takeover special — NXT Takeover: London— is a little over two months away, and it’s likely that WWE will want to have Finn Balor, who is from the United Kingdom, be in the main-event of that show. However, it’s unclear if the Crews vs. Balor match will be held off until then.
After Samoa Joe debuted back at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable in May, many believed that he would challenge the then NXT Champion Kevin Owens for the title at the next Takeover show, but the Owens vs. Joe match took place on NXT’s standard weekly show, and the match ended via disqualification.
There’s a possibility that, with the next Takeover show being two months away, the Crews vs. Balor match happens on NXT’s weekly show, instead of at the event in London, where Joe vs. Balor could end up headlining the show.
If WWE did announce a date for Crews vs. Balor at the NXT taping, it hasn’t been leaked yet, and we’ll just have to wait until next Wednesday, if the date isn’t leaked sooner, to find out when the match will take place.
There’s a chance that WWE is looking to call Finn Balor up to the main roster, as he’s been ready for the promotion for several years now, even before he debuted in NXT. So, either Samoa Joe or Apollo Crews may end up being the next NXT Champion, which would allow Finn Balor to be called up to WWE’s main roster.
[Images via WWE]