Kushida and Finn Balor have long history together and it should continue with a win for Kushida next week in the Guantlet Eliminator
WWE NXT General Manager William Regal had a lot to announce on this week’s edition of WWE NXT. One of those announcements was the creation of a new match call the Gauntlet Eliminator. This match is set to debut next week with the winner to earn a shot at Finn Balor and the NXT championship at the upcoming TakeOver. Looking at the field, the winner needs to be Kushida. The time is now to elevate him to the main event picture.
Kushida’s booking on NXT has left much of the wrestling community perplexed. When he joined NXT in 2019 it was clear that the organization was getting one of the top wrestlers in the world, regardless of division. Yet, they have failed to book him in any defining storylines since bringing him in. His place in the NXT cruiserweight division looked like it was rising, but he did not win the tournament earlier this year, as Drake Maverick moved on to the final.
Kushida has been involved in a few important matches lately and it finally seems like WWE Creative is about to push him to the status he deserves. He recently attacked Velveteen Dream and nearly ripped Austin Theory’s arm off his body. A more aggressive version of Kushida makes him immediately more interesting as a character. It is a given that he is going to give fans great matches each time he is in the ring, now they have something to think about when it comes to him as a character. With the Gauntlet Eliminator set for next week, he should get the victory to reignite a feud with someone he is very familiar with from days past.
Kushida and Balor have competed against each other back when they were a part of New Japan. Back then, Balor was known as Prince Devitt and was one of the core members of Bullet Club. He would battle Kushida in both singles and tag-team action multiple times from 2010 through 2014. During that time, they would exchange titles during these contests, as they traded both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team titles. That history is the exact type of foundation that WWE should build upon after getting these two firmly in each other’s cross hairs.
With his second title reign starting, Balor needs some solid competition to keep the interest growing. A feud between these two men immediately gets hardcore wrestling fans interested and introduces Kushida to the wider WWE Universe who may not be too familiar with his work. It is the perfect combination to give both men exactly what they need and a hot angle for NXT that can potentially pull some eyes away from All Elite Wrestling at a time where they are building momentum.
Kushida needs to win the Gauntlet Eliminator next week. He is the person that can build some immediate intrigue for Balor’s first series of title defenses. Plus, the WWE viewership needs to know exactly how special a performer Kushida is and now is the time to remind them through a feud for the NXT championship.