This Sunday is the WWE Elimination Chamber. And we have already detailed a fantasy booking lists for both men and women inside the chamber. But there is one thing that the WWE failed to capitalize on with this Sunday’s event. And that is that there is no NXT Elimination Chamber match. So we will outline the two main reasons why there needed to be an NXT Elimination Chamber match this Sunday.
Extending the Brand of NXT
When it comes to NXT, it is very much a nitch driven product. The audience that NXT targets are interested in pro-wrestling and not just “Sports Entertainment.” And very rarely does WWE promote NXT beyond the Takeover Special ahead of one of the “Big Four” PPVs. So the casual audience may not know who the NXT Universe can’t wait to see called up. This lack of acknowledgment was never more evident than when Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano made their way into the 2019 Royal Rumble. Aleister Black and Johny Gargano are two of the most popular acts in NXT. And while the “pop” they received at the Rumble was decent, it wasn’t something deemed a “good” reaction. And that is strictly because the casual WWE audience doesn’t know the NXT Superstars. The casual WWE audience doesn’t take the time to watch more than Monday Night Raw. (As evidenced by the TV Ratings.)
However, WWE has the means to make NXT and the Superstars that call the “Yellow and Black” brand home, more recognizable. The WWE could give stars like Johnny Gargano and Aleister Black a platform. So that when they pop up in the Royal Rumble, the casual fans are like “That’s Johnny Gargano! That’s Aleister Black!” Not the reaction of “Hey are those guys from NXT?”
The Right Six
The Elimination Chamber is not a forgiving structure. And when that level of danger and intrigue surround a structure, at times the Superstars competing in it play second fiddle. So then deciding on the participants, a level of focus and forethought should be employed. The two Elimination Chamber matches on Sunday, barely fit that mold in my opinion. But in NXT the top of the card has the perfect six competitors to enter into the hellacious structure. The same six men that would compete during halftime of the “Big Game.” Ricochet, Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole (Bay, Bay), Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa. These six men have a level of chemistry and heat that is perfectly suited for the imposing steel structure.
Placing these six men in front of what would be a more casual WWE audience would bring light to NXT as a whole. And beyond bringing more awareness to NXT, an Elimination Chamber match with these six men would unquestionably be the high of the night. The dynamic these men put on display following Takeover: Phoenix was incredible. And the subsequent match on Halftime Heat was equally as brilliant. So WWE could have capitalized on that momentum by placing the spotlight on these six men. Not to mention the highspots that would have come out of this contest would have sent shockwaves through the wrestling world.
What Should Have Been
WWE has kept NXT separated for the most part from the main roster. Minus exceptions like the Royal Rumble. But booking an Elimination Chamber match with the top of the NXT card would have been revolutionary. And while the WWE may not currently be fazed (or so they say) by the upstart All Elite Wrestling. They must begin to give wrestling fans a reason to care again. No WWE is not going to suffer on their bottom line. (Which is all they care about, i.e., Crown Jewel.) But creatively if talent are not fulfilled that may look to creatively greener pastures upon completion of their WWE contracts.
Something as simple as booking the top six superstars in NXT for a “one-night” blowoff match could have shown the WWE Universe, the talent, and PRO-WRESTLING fans everywhere that WWE is going to step up its creative game. We were promised change at the end of 2018. And while some of the names have changed in certain spots, the product remains mostly the same. Could this one match have fixed everything? No. But it would have shown an undeniable unique approach to the stale nature of the product. And it would have also left the casual fan wanting more of the next set of WWE Superstars. All I know is I am more excited to see Johnny Gargano versus Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Championship than I am to watch Seth Rollins versus Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. The NeXT generation of WWE talent should have had a place on a card featuring the likes of Braun Strowman versus Baron Corbin.