At NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver, Santos Escobar defeated Jordan Devlin in a Ladder Match to be crowned the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion. On tonight’s episode of NXT, a confident Escobar issued an open challenge; anyone that was willing to step up to the plate could have an opportunity at the NXT Cruiserweight Title. The man that answered the challenge was KUSHIDA, who entered wearing new ring gear. However, he would come away from the match with much more. Following a hard-fought battle, KUSHIDA would win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
Following his victory, KUSHIDA was approached by Devlin backstage. After sarcastically offering KUSHIDA his congratulations, Devlin made his goal clear: to win back the NXT Cruiserweight Title. However, it would have to be later down the line, as Devlin stated he’d be returning home to the United Kingdom. The new champion is unlikely to be short on challengers, not only on NXT but 205 Live, where KUSHIDA is likely to be a focal point moving forward.
— WWE (@WWE) April 14, 2021
What’s Next for NXT Cruiserweight Champion KUSHIDA?
To say that this is a monumental moment for KUSHIDA would be an understatement. Since signing with WWE back in 2019, he has been looking for a breakout moment. While he has wrestled numerous high-quality matches against the likes of Cameron Grimes and Johnny Gargano, he has never held gold in WWE. This win marks the first WWE title victory of KUSHIDA, though he has held gold in other promotions throughout his career. Most notably, during his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling, he became a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. In fact, for a time, he was considered the “face” of NJPW’s junior heavyweight division.
As stated earlier, Devlin is out of the NXT Cruiserweight Title picture for the time being. Who will be next to step up to KUSHIDA? One could make the argument that Isaiah “Swerve” Scott would be a solid contender, though he seems to have his hands full with Leon Ruff for the time being. There’s also the case to be made for Escobar, who will be looking to regain his title, likely with the “assistance” of Legado Del Fantasma. Regardless, the reign of the “Back to the Future” inspired champion will be one to keep an eye on.
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