Apollo Crews shocked the WWE Universe on the latest edition of NXT. The former United States Champion showed up on USA Network, interrupting a promo by NXT Champion Bron Breakker.
The popular superstar was all smiles as the WWE Universe treated him like a star. When he spoke to Breakker, Crews made it clear he's back in NXT and wants to take over the brand. That, of course, means capturing the NXT title.
Apollo no longer had the fake Nigerian accent, nor was he accompanied by Commander Azeez. It's reported that Apollo Crews is set to remain on NXT. If that's the case, what kind of future will he have? Who will he challenge? What will he do?
Below are five potential directions for Apollo Crews in WWE NXT:
#5. Apollo can be a top babyface on the brand
One direction for the former US Champion is to be the face of NXT. It doesn't mean Apollo will be winning championships or having long title reigns. Instead, being the face of NXT means Crews will be a focal point of WWE's third brand.
Cody Rhodes is an example of being the face without necessarily being champion. Since returning to WWE at WrestleMania 38, Cody has been the face of RAW. Rhodes' feud with Seth Rollins had the most focus. From entrances to promo time and matches, Cody has received the star treatment.
NXT can do the same for Crews. If they do and it works out, a new presentation could help him when he returns to the main roster.
#4. He could help elevate Solo Sikoa in a tag team
On NXT, Apollo Crews can legitimize Solo Sikoa and set him up for success on the main roster. Solo is part of The Bloodline and may have quite the future on the main roster. Thus far, the Samoan star has been getting over on NXT TV, but teaming up with an established star like Crews may enhance his credibility.
Apollo's return match on NXT saw him teaming up with the Samoan star. The pair have already had a successful outing too. Defeating Carmelo Hayes & Grayson Waller is a great first step for a potential team.
#3. Crews could have a personal grudge feud
Apollo's debut showed him in a different light. Gone was his Nigerian accent. His powerful bodyguard Commander Azeez was also no longer by his side. Most notably, however, the former Intercontinental Champion is now a babyface.
The bulk of Crews' WWE career saw him as a smiling hero so being a babyface isn't new for the star. The happy-go-lucky talent has a very natural smile and a likable personality.
A grudge feud with intense animosity could level Crews up despite his likability. Personal rivalries sell tickets in pro wrestling, and if the talented star can pull them off successfully, his stock will rise considerably. A feud with Grayson Waller could lead to a new side of Crews being shown to the WWE Universe.
#2. Apollo Crews could be used to elevate Bron Breakker
Bron Breakker is the ace of NXT right now. The young second-generation star debuted on the brand last year and has already held the NXT Championship on two occasions. He's also had matches on RAW and headlined NXT Premium Live Events.
Crews' time on NXT can be used to push Bron further before his main roster run. If the two go at it in a big TV main event or Premium Live Event, Crews may lose to the young champion. While losing, the veteran could teach Bron a thing or two.
The former Intercontinental Champion wouldn't be the first main roster star to come down to NXT to help out Breakker. Both Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode have battled the young NXT Champion, helping elevate him in and out of the ring.
#1. Apollo Crews could become NXT Champion
Apollo Crews' time on NXT may be long, or it may be short. Right now, that's not yet known to the WWE Universe. Regardless of how long his tenure is, the biggest way to make an impact is to win the NXT Championship.
It could very well be the direction Crews takes. He noted in his promo that he wants the gold before his time on NXT is done. If he wins the title, the bigger point of contention is whether he defeats Breakker or somebody else.
While Apollo taking on Breakker would be an exciting match, two babyfaces colliding over the title may not be the right move. Instead, it may be better if there's a heel champion between the two reigns. Somebody like Grayson Waller may be the perfect transitional champion.
It remains unclear how long Apollo Crews will remain in NXT. Will the former US Champion have a long stay like Mandy Rose? Or will he only be on 2.0 for a cup of coffee like Dolph Ziggler? For now, his future remains uncertain.
While Apollo dropped his fake Nigerian accent, he isn't the first star to drop their accent on TV. You can read about others here.
Vince Russo named the one thing that will make everyone stop watching WWE here.