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NXT is not messing around this week! The black and gold brand is hitting us with a must see episode this week pitting three of the brand’s best wrestlers against each other for the chance to challenge Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship. Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, and Kyle O’Reilly have all had a pretty fantastic 2021 so far and all deserve a shot at the gold. 

But like any choice to be made, there are pros and cons to each of them. So let’s go ahead and break down each competitor and rank our potential number one competitors here! 

3. Kyle O’Reilly 

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Look, someone has to be the last on the list here and unfortunately that falls on Kyle O’Reilly this time. I’ve underestimated him before, but it really does feel like he still has some work to do before he is world title ready again. 

O’Reilly was victorious in his match at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver against his former Undisputed Era brother, Adam Cole, but before that it is important to remember that he lost out on two chances at the NXT Championship. It just doesn’t feel like he’s at the right place to step up to Karrion Kross just yet. 

My guess is that we see Adam Cole interfere in tomorrow’s match to continue that feud and keep O’Reilly away from the belt for a little bit longer.

2. Johnny Gargano 

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The only former NXT Champion in the triple threat match seems like a solid pick for the next one to take on Karrion Kross, and I have no doubt that we will be seeing this match up sooner rather than later. But for now Gargano needs to step aside. 

Johnny Wrestling is coming off a fantastic run with the North American Championship, and I think we need to see him bring order back to The Way before we get his big match for the biggest title on the brand. Johnny won’t take the pin tomorrow night, but I also don’t see him going for the title until the SummerSlam weekend TakeOver. 

1. Pete Dunne

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Dunne hasn’t had a real chance to shine in a title feud in quite some time. His last opportunity against Finn Balor at TakeOver: Vengeance Day was overshadowed by Adam Cole’s turn on Kyle O’Reilly, and since then Dunne has just been waiting for a shot at the gold. 

The Bruiserweight has gotten to show of recently in his bout with Kushida as well as against Bobby Fish last week. A potential match up between Dunne and Kross at TakeOver is an intriguing one to say the least as we haven’t seen Kross take on anyone remotely close to Dunne’s style. 

All three of these men deserve title shots in the near future and it is safe to say that they will all get more opportunities before the end of the year. But who do you want to see walk out of NXT this week as number one contender? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer

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