The recently-culminated NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day is already being hailed by many as an all-time great pay-per-view. The show had five matches in total, with all of them delivering at one level or the other. The night opened with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeating Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart to win the first-ever Women's Dusty Rhodes Classic tournament.
Next, Johnny Gargano retained his NXT North American Championship against Kushida in a terrific bout. MSK won the Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic after defeating Grizzled Young Veterans, who were the finalists in the previous year's tournament as well.
Io Shirai retained her NXT Women's Championship after defeating Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez in a triple-threat match. In the main event of the night, Finn Balor came up victorious in his NXT Championship defense against Pete Dunne. The post-match development of Adam Cole turning heel on Balor and his Undisputed Era stablemate Kyle O'Reilly has gotten the fans buzzing.
Now with the PPV behind us, the time seems ripe to predict what storylines can we see on NXT programming in the coming weeks. So without any delays, here are five feuds that can start on the Black and Gold brand from this week onwards.
#5 Toni Storm might lay claim at NXT Women's Championship as she wasn't pinned in the match
The three-way match for the NXT Women's Championship that saw Io Shirai defending her title against Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez ended with Shirai retaining her title. The bout was quite a fun affair, albeit a little disjointed at times. The three Superstars put in a lot of effort in the proceedings and came up with a couple of spectacular spots like the double submission lock and Shirai's double splash from ringside.
The ending of the match saw Shirai delivering a moonsault to Martinez just when Storm was gaining control. Shirai came up victorious after pinning Martinez, and Storm was protected. As a result, it makes narrative sense if Storm lays down a one-on-one challenge to Shirai for the title.
The two Superstars have terrific chemistry in the ring and can steal the show whenever they are pitted against each other. The NXT creative team might not wait until the next TakeOver special to book this match, and we may witness the two colliding for the title very near in the future.
#4 MSK might lay down a challenge to NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
Considering MSK joined WWE NXT in December 2020, the two have achieved quite a lot in just three months with the company. The two debuted in the first-round match of the Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, and today they stand on top of the mountain as the winners. The duo of Nash Carter and Wes Lee defeated Grizzled Young Veterans in a tremendous battle that was arguably the best NXT tag team match of the year so far.
With momentum on their side, it wouldn't come as a surprise if they lay down a challenge to NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. The champions have a much more mat-based, stiff, and submission-driven offense that can work well in contrast with MSK's high-flying style. Until recently, the tag division on NXT was suffering from a lack of legitimate teams. But with MSK in the mix now, the duo can very well take the division in a new direction.
#3 Eli Drake, aka LA Knight, might set his eyes on Johnny Gargano's NXT North American Championship
Eli Drake, now known as LA Knight, made his surprise WWE debut at the pre-show of NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day. The former IMPACT World Champion instantly put the roster on notice by saying he'll come for any title he wishes to win. The 38-year old Superstar can prove to be a vital player for NXT due to his tremendous mic skills and decent in-ring chops.
While it doesn't seem realistic that he would be straight away be thrust into the NXT Championship picture, a feud with Johhny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship might prove to be memorable. Yes, Knight is seemingly a heel, and so is Gargano, but their verbal interactions could be unimaginably funny, and the creative team must consider booking this rivalry.
Also, as experienced as LA Knight is, he's not on the level of others on the roster as far as in-ring work is considered. A series of bouts with a performer of Gargano's stature might be the best opportunity to hide his drawbacks in the ring and maximize the character work.
#2 Adam Cole might embark upon a deeply-personal and long-winded feud with Kyle O'Reilly on NXT
After Finn Balor retained his NXT Championship against Pete Dunne in the main event of the night, the post-match angle saw Adam Cole turning heel on the champion and his Undisputed Era stablemate Kyle O'Reilly. While Cole can surely feud with Balor in the future, fans are most looking forward to a rivalry with O'Reilly. It's been more than three years since the Undisputed Era stable has been dominating NXT programming, with all of its members achieving success.
However, the implosion might prove to be a landscape-shifting one and give the Black and Gold brand the much-needed energy it has lacked in recent times. Despite being aligned in NXT, Cole and O'Reilly had a tremendous feud in Ring of Honor, where O'Reilly was the face to Cole's heel character.
A similar dynamic will be seen in their rivalry in NXT, which might see the two wrestle more than a few matches. They can also possibly collide at WrestleMania 37 in front of a sizable crowd. It's a position these two Superstars and the rivalry deserves, and the company must consider booking this match for The Grandest Stages of Them All.
#1 Karrion Kross may finally look to get back the NXT Championship he never lost
After defeating Pete Dunne cleanly for the NXT Championship, Finn Balor might be waiting to see new challengers for his title emerge. While a feud with Adam Cole is a possibility, considering Cole delivered a Superkick to him in the post-match angle, the money-match is between Balor and Karrion Kross. The NXT management has kept Balor and Kross apart until now, but now it seems like the right time to pull the trigger on this feud.
Speculation has been ripe about Finn Balor defending his NXT Championship at WrestleMania 37. If that's the case, Kross vs. Balor is a match that's worthy of a stage like 'Mania. Also, if the company goes ahead with the feud, the champion might bring his Demon King persona for the first time since moving back to NXT.
Currently, Kross is embroiled in a rivalry with NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar, but it doesn't seem like a long-term plan. Once the former NXT Champion finishes his business with him, he can go ahead on the path of reclaiming the title he never lost.