Every year, NXT is involved in the Royal Rumble in some fashion. Last year, the black and gold brand even got to participate in Survivor Series. But there are still gimmick events that don’t feature NXT, and any time that happens, I’m left wondering what would happen if that were booked.
This year, we will have two Elimination Chamber matches featuring a No. 1 contender’s match to determine who faces Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, as well as one for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
But what if the Elimination Chamber event was an NXT show and had ramifications for that roster, instead?
Obviously, this is all in the name of fun, as it’s not happening this year, so I encourage everyone to chime in with a comment below to give your own suggestions of how you would book this if you were given the keys to the kingdom and how you imagine WWE would go about setting up these matches.
Without further ado, let’s dive into things…
NXT Women’s Division Match
For the most part, this assumes Elimination Chamber would effectively set up or replace TakeOver: Tampa to set up a post-WrestleMania set of circumstances.
Obviously, Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair is happening at WrestleMania. There would be no need to have her defend the title in an Elimination Chamber match, nor would there be a setup for her to fight someone at TakeOver: Tampa if that were still going down.
Instead, let’s work with the idea that this is the No. 1 contender’s match that will determine who fights Ripley or Flair after WrestleMania establishes the champion.
In that scenario, we’re looking for 6 of the top women. We can already rule out a good number of superstars who just aren’t high enough on the totem pole to justify giving a spot to: Aliyah, Chelsea Green, Deonna Purrazzo, Jessamyn Duke, Kacy Catanzaro, Marina Shafir, Raquel Gonzalez (she’s just starting in her backup role), Santana Garrett, Taynara Conti, Vanessa Borne and Xia Li.
I think we can also toss out most of the NXT UK women: Isla Dawn, Jinny, Kay Lee Ray is already champion, Nina Samuels, Piper Niven and Xia Brookside.
That leaves us with Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Io Shirai, Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox and Toni Storm. Three of them have to go.
It may seem odd, but I’d take Belair out of the equation. She already had her title match at Portland and Flair kind of wrote her off with that leg injury. I’d rather her sit this out, win the women’s battle royal at Mania and come up to the Raw roster as a babyface.
I’d also nix Storm for some of the same reasons. She lost at Worlds Collide, has been more focused on the NXT UK Women’s Championship and lost her I Quit match against KLR.
Candice is a given, as is Io. You need Kai and Nox. Then, between Martinez, Yim and Blackheart, I know I’d give one of those spots to Martinez. When push comes to shove, I think I’d go with Yim over Blackheart, but in a way that doesn’t take Shotzi out of the loop entirely. Perhaps Martinez can cheat to beat Blackheart in a qualifying match and they could start a feud to come out of this.
I’m fully expecting Ripley to retain the title at WrestleMania, so we need a heel to fight her afterward. A babyface can’t win this, which means LeRae, Yim and Nox are fighting a losing battle.
Between Kai, Martinez and Shirai, though, I don’t think there’s a standout one to pick, but I do have a plan.
Martinez feuds with Blackheart after this. Shirai feuds with Yim. Kai wins the Elimination Chamber match and has Raquel do some of her dirty work on the build to the next TakeOver. The story ends up being that it’s almost 2-on-1. Of course, Ripley retains and can move on to feud with Martinez, then Shirai, who she’d probably drop the title to in order to move up to Raw or SmackDown at the beginning of 2021.
NXT Men’s Division Match
Adam Cole could defend the title, but he’d be running through the gauntlet of all his noteworthy opponents, which would kill some of the buzz for his future matches against whoever would become the No. 1 contender down the line.
As such, this would need to be a match to determine his future challenger, just the same as the women’s.
Obviously, three names who are guaranteed are Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. I don’t need to explain them. The other three names, though, are a bit more up for debate.
If you toss another heel in there, I feel like it would have to be Damian Priest or Roderick Strong. Nobody would buy into Killian Dain or Cameron Grimes. The tricky thing with Strong is that he shouldn’t want to fight Cole, but you could write it in there that Cole wants Strong to win so none of the others do. Then, some fans would be wondering if Strong would win and turn on Cole. The safer pick, though, is just going with Priest.
The other two babyfaces could be Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic or Velveteen Dream.
For my money, put Riddle and Dunne elsewhere on the card defending the tag titles. Then, as much as Lee is a featured player and someone people want to see take another step up, he’s got the North American title. Book him against Strong or Priest (whoever doesn’t get in the chamber).
That leaves Dijakovic and Dream as the other two contenders, who are more than worthy of trying to earn a title shot.
With our field set (Damian Priest/Roderick Strong, Dominik Dijakovic, Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream) I’d give the win to Dream. He can end his feud with Strong as a momentum-builder to getting the main title shot. Balor can do his thing with WALTER that they’re setting up. Gargano and Ciampa can carry on their feud and Dijakovic can go back down to the North American title level.
Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream. You’ve got my money.
What do you think would happen in this theoretical scenario? Would you like to see an NXT Elimination Chamber match go down? Who would the participants be? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!