Last week was a huge week for both AEW and NXT; fans of both promotions were treated to major shows with some stellar matches and some insane moments. But, if we are honest, one moment, in particular, shocked the wrestling world. Kenny Omega won the AEW World Championship off of Jon Moxley and announced that he would appear on the upcoming episode of Impact Wrestling with the title. As soon as TNT cut away from AEW, the internet was swirling with rumors of what might come of a potential Impact and AEW partnership, fans and even wrestlers themselves were calling out dream matches and fantasy booking the upcoming few months. This is an exciting time to be a wrestling fan, and even if the crossover is just a short storyline that carries both AEW and Impact into the spring, AEW has pulled off something that is turning heads.
Of course, this is a "war," and so fans of NXT will want their show to respond with something big as well, and while many fans would hope for a crossover with New Japan or Ring of Honor, the most likely outcome will be more crossovers with WWE's Main Roster. And while that might not be as exciting as Adam Cole taking on Will Osprey or Flip Gordon, there are still many dream matches waiting to happen between NXT, Raw, and SmackDown (some of which could even rival the AEW and Impact partnership). So here, in no particular order, are 5 NXT and main roster crossovers that could rival an AEW and Impact partnership.
Sami Zayn vs. Adam Cole
As long as these two guys stay with WWE, this match will happen one day. The question is, will it happen while Cole is still in NXT. I really do hope that this matchup happens before Cole and the Undisputed Era are called up to Raw or SmackDown, and I think that if WWE is smart, they should book this match sooner rather than later. Both Zayn and Cole have a ton of experience outside of WWE and have status with fans that would make this big news for the same crowd looking forward to an AEW/Impact crossover.
This could be counterprogramming at its best, and while it would take the right kind of story to actually make it happen, NXT should invest time into finding a way to bring this to the fans.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Bayley
Two of the MVPs of this pandemic era, both Shotzi and Bayley, had done a ton of work to continue to entertain fans even when they weren't there in person. Unsurprisingly, working your asses off to make good content during the worst of times is a great way to endear yourself to the fans. Both Blackheart and Bayley both have great understandings of their characters and elevate anyone with who they are in the ring. I would expect a match between these two to be brutal but with a ton of storytelling.
Bayley is already a staple of WWE programming, but I would get ready to see both her and Shotzi sticking around for a while. So why not go ahead and give us a three-match series between these two? The fans would go crazy for it, and it could do wonders for NXT if they can capture some of the SmackDown audience for this match.
Randy Orton vs Tomasso Ciampa
Ciampa vs. Orton has been brewing for a while now, these guys have been throwing barbs back and forth on Twitter for a while, and there is nothing that online wrestling fans love more than a feud that starts on Twitter and finishes in the ring. All joking aside, Ciampa and Orton are both fantastic, brutal wrestlers with skills as both technical workers and solid storytellers. Other than this match having the potential to be an instant classic, something just feels right about having these two face off. I really can't explain what it is, but anytime someone brings up an NXT and Main Roster match, inevitably, someone will call for Orton and Ciampa to duke it out. So WWE should just ahead and book the match. Giving the people what they want is almost always a good move.
Io Shirai vs. Asuka
Io and Asuka have a history together from their time spent wrestling in their native Japan. This past summer, Asuka helped Io defeat Sasha Banks at NXT The Great American Bash, in a move that advanced Asuka's storyline with Banks and Bayley. I'm not quite sure how WWE could book this match without calling Io up to the main roster, other than some kind of tournament involving women from all three of WWE's brands. But honestly, that sounds like a good idea and could give us more crossovers we haven't even thought of yet. Io and Asuka are fantastic in-ring workers and are a joy to watch. Making this match happen is just a good move, even if NXT isn't trying to counterprogram their rivals in AEW.
Rey Mysterio vs Santos Escobar
When El Hijo Del Fantasma unmasked and dubbed himself the savior of Lucha libre in NXT, he sent true shockwaves through the cruiserweight division. Santos Escobar and Legado Del Fantasma just ooze cool, and their matches have, for the most part, been entertaining and showcased some excellent wrestling. In the past, I have mused about the potential for Dominik Mysterio to turn on his father and join up with Escobar, which I think would be an excellent motivation for a series of matches between Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar.
Not only do I think this could be an awesome chance for Rey to pass the torch to the next generation of WWE luchadors, but I think it could the kind of story that Rey could really sink his teeth into before retiring from the WWE for good. This kind of match-up is all about legacy, and I think we have just the right kind of guys to tell it.
So what do you think? Who from the main roster would you like to see clash with your favorite NXT superstar? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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