Santos Escobar is in need of a new challenger and that challenge should come from one of the newest members of the WWE roster.
Santos Escobar and Gran Metalik put on a brilliant display of Lucha Libre at NXT New Year’s Evil. Metalik did everything he could to take the NXT cruiserweight title home, but Escobar was successful in thwarting those claims, keeping the belt around his waist. The WWE cruiserweight division has depth but does not have many names that generate excitement around their position on the roster. However, there is one person that stands out as a potential next foil for Escobar. That man is Tyler Rust.
Rust has been with the WWE since early December, but he comes with a wealth of experience that immediately translated to the WWE ring. His 16-years of experience took him to organizations like PWG, ROH, and Impact before landing in the WWE. An interesting note is that Rust was featured in both the NJPW and WWE ring in the same week, due to the magic of pre-recording.
Rust and Tommaso Ciampa put on an excellent display of action in their match last month. Even though Rust was defeated, he caught the attention of many who enjoy the NXT brand of action. But the big note is his pairing with Malcolm Bivens. Bivens, who has not been leveraged on WWE television in the face of those who know his talent, is the perfect mouthpiece for a character like Rust. As great as Rust is in the ring, Bivens brings that same level of excellence outside of it. Making this the perfect pairing to eventually elevate Rust to the status of one who could challenge Escobar for the belt.
Look at how NXT has built up Kushida, who is now able to challenge for the NXT North American belt. He has been very well booked since September, now WWE must finish the deal with a title win. Rust can be built in a similar fashion, especially with 205 Live available as another platform where he can work his magic.
The build to a title win is just as important as the win itself. For WWE to improve the content that it is putting out each week, these characters need meaningful builds with payoffs. Santos Escobar needs a new challenger for his title. That challenger should come from the likes of Tyler Rust, after a sustained and quality build. Then, the two men can work their magic between the ropes in a match that would be sure to deliver.