At NXT TakeOver: WarGames, a vignette aired signaling Karrion Kross’ impending return to NXT television. With Finn Balor also set to come back from the sidelines, there’s no reason why Kross shouldn’t immediately challenge and defeat Finn.
Since Kross’ debut in April, he wasted no time vaulting up the NXT ranks. Having defeated the likes of Bronson Reed, Dominik Dijakovic and most notably Tomasso Ciampa in dominant fashion, Kross capped off his hot start by unseating Keith Lee as NXT Champion at NXT TakeOver 30.
Unfortunately, a separated shoulder suffered during the aforementioned match with Keith Lee forced Kross to vacate the NXT Championship that same week and subsequently become the shortest-reigning NXT Champion in the title’s history.
Finn Balor later claimed the vacant NXT Championship by defeating Adam Cole at NXT Super Tuesday II before successfully defending against Kyle O’Reilly in what was a riveting but equally brutal match-of-the-year contender at NXT TakeOver 31. In the midst of the match, Balor suffered a fractured jaw which sent him to the sidelines but unlike Kross, did not have to vacate the championship.
Given that stark difference in their injury-riddled title reigns and Finn Balor announcing that on Wednesday, “All eyes go back on the prince”, the next edition of NXT would be the perfect time for Kross to return and make his intentions clear to recapture the NXT Championship.
Kross and Scarlett could easily make the case that not only did Kross not officially “lose” the championship but he has yet to be beaten in NXT, and therefore should be first in line to challenge Finn Balor. New Year’s Evil is set for January 6th and the title of the event makes it apropos to center around Kross and his battle for a second NXT Championship reign.
In Balor’s latest NXT stint, he has re-established himself as NXT’s franchise player and has also laid further claim to being possibly the greatest wrestler in the brand’s history. The problem at hand is that we’ve already seen Finn Balor wrestle the majority of the top names in the brand. Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Kyle O’Reilly, and even the surging Damian Priest have had their cracks at Finn Balor, championship gold, or both at some point this year.
Karrion Kross is still very fresh in NXT and most of the big names he’s faced thus far are now on different brands. If he crosses paths with and defeats Balor for the NXT Championship, it creates a realm of possibilities for first-time-ever matchups to headline NXT specials and TakeOver events. Especially as WrestleMania season approaches, members in NXT’s core roster could be heading in a different direction by the spring.
Kross regaining the championship would officially signal a new era that was already in progress before his injury and in the long term, open the door for new stars to challenge and eventually claim the title from him. Kross has already done phenomenal work through his short time in NXT and 100% deserves a proper reign before his run on the brand concludes.