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Friday, May 8, 2015

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Eyes on the...Injury?

By Speed on the Beat (@SpeedontheBeat)

Is it too early to panic?

As you're aware, in the past 96 hours or so, we've gotten word that Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami have suffered shoulder injuries and are out indefinitely. These injuries come, somewhat, on the heels of Kevin Owens himself returning from injury a few weeks ago and Alex Riley going under the knife. Now, Zayn and Itami being injured automatically throws a few monkey wrenches into NXT's plans.

At the next NXT Arrival, Zayn was booked to face Owens. When Zayn went down after his match with Cena (save the "Cena injured him" talk, though. It's been reported that Zayn injured himself backstage), it was bad. However, WWE and NXT still had a contingency plan. Put one of the most over NXT talents not named Zayn or Owens, Hideo Itami (the former KENTA) in the match versus having him just square off in a triple-threat match with Tyler Breeze and Finn Balor for the right to be the next number one contender.

And then, Itami gets injured.

What does that mean?

For starters, two of NXT's top faces are out for months. NXT, while full of depth, also doesn't have many players that have connected with the crowd in the way a Zayn or an Itami have done. Tyler Breeze can't be a face (not even a Ziggler-lite), because his persona is wrapped around being the self-absorbed asshole. Balor could/should step up, and we'd probably get a classic match out of Owens and Balor, but what would it mean?

That's the question: if Balor gets the rub from the Number One Contender match, do you have him beat Owens or do you have Owens retain? And if so, who do you have oppose him? Do you bring up a mid-carder and build them up as the next big thing? Do you automatically bring in Uhaa Nation? Do you keep having Balor versus Owens until Zayn comes back, says "fuck the bullshit. It's my time to get my rematch" and have him regain the belt?

All in all, it's an exciting time to be an NXT fan. It's also a critical time in the brand's development, one that will determine if NXT truly is the best brand of WWE or just an "overrated" breeding ground/feeder system. Because, let's face it. If you can't pull out a win with your B+ players (ugh) and you have people claiming you're the best, you may just not be the best...

As always, that's just my opinion. Until next time.


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