Kushida is the perfect foil for Santos Escobar as he continues to build himself into the fresh, top heel NXT needs.
Santos Escobar walked out of NXT on Wednesday with the NXT Cruiserweight title around his waist after an excellent, hard-fought match against Isiah “Swerve” Scott. With this win he picks up a victory over the only man to defeat him since joining the WWE. While Scott may still have some business with the champion, there is an opportunity to move Escobar onto another challenge. That challenger should be none other than Kushida.
Kushida is widely considered one of the greatest junior heavyweight wrestlers in the industry, regardless of promotion. The 37-year old wrestler has proven that time and time again, with most of his career occurring in Japan, North American fans may not be too familiar with his abilities. Best believe, Kushida is everything that he is built up to be and is someone who could contend for any NXT singles title. He is a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team champion and a former ROH Television champion. His resume stacks up and he is perfect for Santos it the near future.
Escobar versus Kushida is the type of feud that immediately elevates both men.
On one side there’s Kushida. The lone-wolf style face who is looking to overcome the numbers (typical WWE storyline) as he faces off with El Legado del Fantasma. Kushida already has recent wins over Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde, setting the initial stages of this feud. Kushida and Escobar have not had a one-on-one match in their careers and that alone is a moment that draws immediate attention.
Then there is Santos, an individual who is slowly becoming one of the more intriguing characters on the NXT roster as the rest of the group becomes more cookie-cutter. El Legado del Fantasma seems like a typical trios stable, but they can offer so much more than that – which seems to be the case so far. While it may be early in his WWE to say, but Santos is showing qualities that can get him comparisons to peak-level Seth Rollins during his heel runs on the main roster. Santos can be that guy in NXT and Kushida is an interesting foil to develop into that persona.
From a match quality standpoint, Kushida versus Santos has the potential to be one of the best matches across all promotions. There is very little these two men cannot do and even with language barriers they tell fantastic stories in between the ropes. They have everything needed to deliver what fans enjoy about professional wrestling if this is built in the right way.
Santos Escobar is showing flashes of being an excellent heel that can become a main event talent in NXT. Kushida is a hidden gym on the WWE roster that the promotion does not know what to do with currently. The solution, pair them together and let magic happen as they battle it out over the NXT Cruiserweight title.