N(e)XT in Line

NXT has really gone from having one of their low periods in 2016-2017 to having a boom period chock full of talent that could easily headline a Takeover all their own. People like Johnny Gargano, Adam Cole (BayBay), Matt Riddle, and even a handful of the women and tag teams, there is so much talent that William Regal took to announce during last week’s NXT episode the NXT Breakout Tournament, with the winner of such tournament getting a title shot of their choosing (likely being a shot at the NXT Title). With the 8-man format keeping things short and sweet and the finals taking place at Takeover Toronto during Summerslam weekend, there is a great opportunity for seriously shaking up the status-quo. Seeing as how the tourney starts with this week’s episode of NXT let’s take a look at some of the competitors and who really could breakout (pun unintended) and possibly shoot up to the main event of the NXT roster.

Bronson Reed (f.k.a Jonah Rock) represents a very underappreciated that being the Australian and New Zealand region of the world. Reed’s inclusion in a singles tournament is rather interesting being that he was a part of a faction in The Mighty Don’t Kneel and would frequently team with other members of TMDK, and has held multiple tag team titles over the various aussie promotions in addition to competing for the NXT Tag Team titles on the more experimental Florida house show loop. However the big companies (NJPW and WWE/NXT) trust their top tier talent and champions with Reed, and he’s put on excellent matches with the likes of Tetsuya Naito, WALTER, and has even competed in PWG’s Battle Of Los Angeles. While there is a serious talent gap between Reed and the main event quality talent, he should easily make himself at home in NXT’s North American title division.

Jordan Myles (f.k.a ACH) is honestly one of the most versatile talent in the latest batch that have been signed away to NXT, someone who has been a solid hand and very reliable to the likes of ROH and NJPW, there is something to be said for how much good faith that the former ACH has built up. With the charisma to easily endear himself to the fans and the high flying ability to dazzle said fans, Myles will quickly become a fan favorite and will be a great personality to have in the locker room. Jordan Myles’ presence also creates multiple dream matches with not just people in NXT but also 205 Live because of his athleticism and his pure babyface attitude, would love to see him take bumps for the likes of Adam Cole, Damien Priest, and even some of the NXT UK guys like WALTER, and Wolfgang. One of Myles’ underrated qualities is his ability as a tag team wrestler, working with Keith Lee on the NXT house shows as a nice thunder and lightning combo; even working with Ryusuke Taguchi in the Best of The Super Jrs. tag team tournament, so the durability is there too. Much like Bronson Reed you should be expecting to see Jordan Myles in the North American division and possibly even in the Cruiserweight Championship mix too.

Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott (f.k.a Shane Strickland) has one of the highest upsides of anyone in this tournament, the confidence and swagger that is entirely palpable to anyone in the audience and is someone that is entirely capable of being a main eventer as MLW has clearly proven. The unique selling point to Swerve is that he isn’t just a bunch of high-spots, he knows how and when to bust out the array of mind blowing moves that he has at his disposal. The public at large are coming to understand the talent that Isaiah Scott has, with PWI listing him at 221 in last year’s 500 list, and even making waves as Killshot in Lucha Underground, not really something that many wrestlers coming into NXT could claim unless they were coming in from places like ROH and NJPW. Character wise Swerve is very malleable working with the likes of Matt Riddle, Kassius Ohno, and even Zach Sabre Jr, speaking to how his style is evolving as time goes on. Keep your eyes on Isaiah Scott as he could easily become NXT champion in the near future, possibly even a triple crown champion in the yellow brand.

The last wrestler I’ll look at is Cameron Grimes (f.k.a Trevor Lee), Grimes’ selling point is the background that he came from living in Cameron, North Carolina and being trained by Matt and Jeff Hardy. The Carolina Caveman has gotten to learn from some of the best of not only yesterday but today from being in teams with the likes of David Starr, Jeff Cobb and Eddie Kingston. Grimes has a heel presence that few in the NXT ranks can match and does not try to pander to the audience with the cool heel bravado that plagues a lot of talent in the wrestling world today, even going as far as to willingly let himself get embarrassed if it means that the babyface gets more shine as a result. Much like Jordan Myles the former Trevor Lee is also a capable hand within the confines of a tag team match as well, teaming with Andrew Everett as the Helms Dynasty or teaming with the various members of the Wrstling stable that was popular in AAW in the midwest. Look for Grimes to receive the highest praise out of anyone in the tournament, and make it to the final at Takeover Toronto, he easily could put out a five star classic that night and possibly have the match of that weekend.

That being said there are more than just the four gentlemen that I detailed in this article, the likes of Dexter Lumis, Angel Garza and Joaquin Wilde are all wonderful talents in their own right. However the four that I detailed in this piece are the ones that I see possibly making more for themselves than just what lies in this tournament, people that can really thrive after this is all said and done. Most importantly they are ones that come in looking to prove that there is more than just what’s beyond the walls of the performance center and that they look to make their mark on NXT. The entire brand will flip on it’s axis after this tournament starts this Wednesday and hopefully everyone involved makes the most of their chance.

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