On Sunday, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración presented the Lucha World Cup, a one night tournament featuring teams of three battling to be crowned the best. Those familiar with Chikara and their annual King of Trios tournament knew what to expect, but for many, this would be the first time exposed to such an idea. Truthfully, the idea of six man tag matches have long roots not only in Lucha Libre, but traditional professional wrestling. For years the National Wrestling Alliance promoted a Six Man Tag Team Championship and teams like the Von Erichs and the Fabulous Freebirds popularized the matches.
One of the things that has gave the Lucha World Cup so much attention is not only the star power being used on the show, but the fact that many of the teams were representing some of the biggest promotions outside of World Wrestling Entertainment. We had both Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor forming a hybrid team with Lucha Underground, and we had teams representing Pro Wrestling NOAH, as well as All Japan Pro Wrestling, in addition to several teams made up of AAA stars. It feels like the best independents in the world have sent representatives.
Despite this wealth of rich talent, it did make me wonder about what the tournament would’ve looked like had NXT sent a team. While NXT may not technically be an independent wrestling company seeing as it is owned by WWE, it is run like one and there is no doubt that there is an abundance of talent that NXT could’ve sent to represent the future of WWE. There exist a number of combinations that would’ve made for a great Team NXT, and in this article we will explore those pairings and why I think they would’ve been great at the Lucha World Cup.
Japan’s Finest – Team Captain Hideo Itami, Finn Balor, and Jason Albert (Giant Bernard): At first, the given name for this team may not make sense given who its members are, but becomes more clear when one stops to think about their pasts. All three team members made their names wrestling in Japan before signing with WWE. The addition of Jason Albert may confuse some, but Albert leaving the ring to take over as an analyst and head trainer in NXT had nothing to do with health issues. As a former tag team champion, he could be a valuable asset.
The Irresistable Force – Team Captain Tyler Breeze, Ty Dillinger, and Dana Brooke: Not just another set of pretty faces, this group would feel right at home bringing their flashy style to the Lucha World Cup. I have already espoused my desire to see Tyler Breeze and Ty Dillinger team up, so why not complete the trifecta with another model? While some might cry foul on mixing genders within the team, AAA is a company that has been known for inter-gender contests, so the idea of having a woman competing in the tournament wouldn’t be that radical. While on the subject of women in NXT…
Team #BFF – Team Captain Bayley, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch: Let’s face it, there are lots of people, including myself, that feel like the women of NXT are the best part of the show. If you wanted to prove that statement, then why not showcase the best you have to offer with a team of vicious vixens? We already know Bayley and Charlotte have formed an unlikely friendship, and with Becky Lynch’s new change in attitude, it wouldn’t be difficult to see them tearing it up against both the women and men in the Lucha World Cup.
The Stretchers – Team Captain Jason Jordan, Angelo Dawkins, and Sawyer Fulton: Although we haven’t seen much from these three amateur stand outs in NXT, what we have seen from them has been impressive. An alliance between these technical wizards could prove to be another Varsity Club or Team Angle. Dawkins and Fulton are already teaming together, while Jordan spent the majority of his NXT run teaming with Ty Dillinger, making them all well versed in the art of the tag team match. What better way to combat any high flying team than by keeping them grounded?
The Outcasts – Team Captain Rhyno, Baron Corbin, and Solomon Crowe: Sometimes the worst enemies make the strongest allies, and that could be the case with these three. Normally loners, if Rhyno, Corbin, and Crowe worked to set their differences aside, it could mean greater glory for both them and NXT. Each of these men are human wrecking balls, meaning that if they happen to find themselves in sudden death one on one competition, they might have a distinct advantage over their opponents. Regardless of if the action is one on one or three on three, I certainly wouldn’t want to stare across the ring into the eyes of these three misfits.
The Honor Society – Team Captain Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Sami Zayn: While we’re on the subject of strange bedfellows, this team, brought together by their past, might be the most dangerous on the roster if they could put aside their differences and relive some of their glory days in Ring of Honor. Owens and Zayn are former tag team champions while Joe was one of the longest reigning ROH World Champions in history. What makes this team even more formidable is that they may be better now than they ever were working for ROH.
Only time will be able to tell if the Lucha World Cup was a success or not. It certainly seemed to generate a lot of buzz online and piqued the interest of some who wouldn’t normally be exposed to this style of competition. Although it is unlikely, I’m sure if NXT approached AAA about working together, there would be no objections. Would the tournament have gone a different was had there been a Team NXT? We’ll never know the answer. We can only imagine what the brackets would have looked like, and keep hoping that things will be different next year.