NXT TakeOver In Your House Results: Matches That Must Be Booked in 2020
After another extraordinary TakeOver event, NXT will now set its sights on the remainder of 2020 by prominently featuring young stars looking to build their credibility with the fans.
Karrion Kross, Keith Lee and Io Shirai all picked up substantial victories Sunday night, while Rhea Ripley was hugely impressive in the Triple Threat match for the NXT Women's Championship.
With those four competitors building momentum, and championship reigns continuing for Lee and Adam Cole, what matches must NXT book to continue building its own momentum and gain a ratings edge on Wednesday nights?
NXT Championship Match: Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole
Adam Cole has held the NXT Championship for over one year, with his most recent victory coming Sunday night at TakeOver: In Your House against Velveteen Dream in a Backlot Brawl.
Now that he has eliminated Dream from the equation, though, he is faced with the challenge of the man whose record reign he eclipsed: Finn Balor.
The Irishman has steamrolled the competition in NXT, laying waste to the likes of Matt Riddle, Johnny Gargano and Damian Priest en route to title contention.
Their paths were destined to cross as the self-centered antihero of NXT and the braggadocious champion. Before 2020 comes to an end, and Cole's future becomes less certain due to contractual talks, the two greatest world champions the black-and-yellow brand has had must do battle.
The bout would be fantastic, the anticipation among fans palpable and the storyline potential—with both men previously belonging to a certain "club"—would be immense.
Make it happen, NXT.
North American Championship Match: Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross
Keith Lee has been utterly dominant since winning the NXT North American Championship in January.
Damian Priest, Dominik Dijakovic and Johnny Gargano are just a few of the celebrated opponents who have fallen at the feet of The Limitless One.
However, none of them have entered an NXT ring with the ferocity, tenacity and complete disregard for their opponent like Karrion Kross.
Led by Scarlett, he has wasted little time earning a reputation as a killer in the men's division. It was one thing to obliterate an enhancement talent and manhandle the massive Bronson Reed, but it was another one entirely to rout Tomasso Ciampa in the manner in which he did at TakeOver: In Your House.
A showdown between two Grade-A hosses like Lee and Kross over a North American Championship that has been at the center of its fair share of superb matches would elevate the title while also presumably giving Kross his first taste of gold with the win.
The credibility he would acquire would be equally appealing for both the performer and NXT management.
Above all else, it keeps Kross strong and prepares him for the world title scene without risking a heel vs. heel title showdown with Cole just yet.
NXT Women's Championship Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai
Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai's professional rivalry dates back to the semifinal round of the 2018 Mae Young Classic, where The Genius of the Sky defeated the Aussie to advance.
Since then, they have competed against each other in Triple Threat matches and War Games, and they had a physical encounter interrupted by Charlotte Flair on the May 20 episode of NXT.
Despite their numerous clashes, they have never met one-on-one for the top prize the brand has to offer them. That must change in 2020.
With Shirai pinning Ripley to capture the NXT Women's Championship Sunday, now is the time to pull the trigger on the match and give fans (and performers) the one-on-one title encounter that has eluded them.
A straight singles match, with no interferences or bells and whistles, is what they deserve and what the women's division in NXT needs before they go their separate ways and engage other talent in feuds and competition.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Jordan Devlin
Jordan Devlin never rightfully lost the cruiserweight title. The Irish Ace was stripped of the gold by NXT officials, citing his inability to defend it, despite him having no choice in the matter.
Stuck in Ireland amid the coronavirus pandemic, he was forced to watch as NXT held a tournament to crown its new cruiserweight champion.
That new titleholder is the internationally renowned El Hijo del Fantasma. The second-generation luchador defeated Drake Maverick to capture the belt and set up an inevitable showdown with Devlin.
After all, does anyone really expect the cocky and confident young star out of Ireland to really allow such a great miscarriage of justice to playout without any sort of repercussions?
The showdown between Devlin and Fantasma would likely be a great match, and being one that could revitalize the division makes it even more appealing.
Dakota Kai vs. Raquel Gonzalez
In 1993, Marty Jannetty avenged his betrayal at the hands of Shawn Michaels that broke up The Rockers.
Unfortunately, his reign as intercontinental champion was cut short as Michaels introduced Diesel to WWE. His bodyguard, Big Daddy Cool, would achieve incredible success with HBK by his side until several errant superkicks led to an irreparable split between the two.
Fast-forward 27 years and Dakota Kai introduced Raquel Gonzalez as her bodyguard, who cost Tegan Nox a win in their Street Fight. Kai and Gonzalez have ridden their partnership to several big wins for Captain Kota, but an errant kick Sunday may have history preparing to repeat itself.
It was a kick from Kai to Gonzalez that eliminated the bodyguard from the match and left the Kiwi prone to a Shining Wizard by Knox.
There is plenty of time for their story to unfold, but WWE should have Kai’s mistakes cost her the partnership and place her in the crosshairs of a vengeful Gonzalez—if for no other reason than to effectively pay off the storyline.