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NXT 5/25 Review and A Brief Look Ahead: Kross Retains and Future Feuds Take Shape

Photo Credit: WWE Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp_wWUUorA4

The Fall and Pray Machine Continues: Karrion Kross and Finn Balor had their rematch, and as expected, Kross came out on top. This match was the best out of the two; with each man beating each other up considerably. If this is the swan song for Balor’s second NXT run, it’s a damn good one. He’s revitalized his career with freshness to his character and a string of great title matches when he had it. The main roster may be calling – Smackdown, in particular.

I know the jury is still out on Karrion Kross. NXT is building him to be a dominant champion. This match helps, but I think that his next feud is going to be key. The triple threat match between Gargano, Dunne, and O’Reilly gives him three great prospective matches. Johnny Gargano has heat with Kross directly. Pete Dunne would match the snug style that Kross does with some technical prowess mixed in. Kyle O’Reilly is the best babyface option. However, Adam Cole might not be done with him just yet. I can picture a scenario where O’Reilly is about to win, but Cole comes in and robs him. O’Reilly and Cole have one more blood feud match before he goes after Kross for Summerslam.

The Women’s Division Continues To Excel: Given the big set piece that was the main event, Wednesday gave a lot of showcases to the women’s division. First, the tag match between Moon/Blackheart and Gonzalez/Kai. Both teams have great chemistry together and the rematch didn’t disappoint. There was some thought where a split between Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai would be teased here. However, we got a look at whom would be the next challenger to the women’s championship crown would be. When they have time, Ember Moon and Raquel Gonzalez play up the athletic vs. power dynamic.


Where does this leave Shotzi Blackheart? I’m not sure. Given the post-match angle, does she sit out for a bit while Ember goes after the title? The team of LeRae and Hartwell could use some new teams to challenge for tag team gold.

On the other front, we had a proper debut from Franky Monet and a new challenger for Mercedes Martinez. Both had squash matches, and that was the proper thing to do. Martinez vs. Tia Shan is an intriguing prospect. For a hard-nosed veteran to work against that newer ensemble will give them a proper test. I would surmise that Franky Monet will get a couple more wins like this before she goes into her own program.

Million Dollar Dilemma: Is that a potential babyface turn for Cameron Grimes? Ted DiBiase has been a thorn in his recently rich side for weeks. While he tries to reason with the legend, here comes LA Knight. This feud will keep both men busy for a bit. A question remains; whose side is DiBiase really on? Is he for LA Knight or Grimes? Maybe even bring back the Million Dollar title?

Murjani’s Quick Thoughts on NXT 5/25:

  • For the void that Undisputed Era left as ‘the big NXT faction,’ Hit Row is here to fill it. It will not happen right away, nor should it. To have a group with a woman wrestler that can go after the women’s title is a different dynamic that has been lacking from other collectives that have dominated NXT. Can’t wait to see how they grow.
  • I really like that they went out of their way to play up the men’s tag team division. There are a lot of challengers for MSK at play. From the Grizzled Young Vets, Imperium, Ciampa/Thatcher, and Breezdango. Legado Del Fantasma, Hit Row, and maybe even Ever Rise. For a while, I complained that there wasn’t enough attention to this division. Now, NXT has done a good job of showcasing how deep it really is.
  • I know they have primarily featured Bobby Fish as a tag wrestler in NXT, but he worked really well against Pete Dunne. Injury history withstanding, I would like to see him continue in that veteran role who can have matches like that every once in a while.
  • Bronson Reed has his first proper feud as champion with Santos Escobar. Reed is not going to drop the title that quick. While Escobar had a brief feud with Karrion Kross, he’s a star. I don’t want it to be a thing where he just loses to bigger opponents. Hopefully, this turns into something substantial for the Del Fantasma leader.

NXT 5/25 is now streaming on Peacock.

Murjani Rawls
Murjani Rawlshttp://www.murjanirawls.com
Murjani is a journalist, self-published author, podcast producer, and photographer working out of the tri-state area. Since 2014, Murjani has been stretching his creativity and passions. He has contributed over 18 websites and over 1,000 articles to his journalism portfolio, providing timely commentary on music, television, movies, politics, sports, and more. Murjani has photographed over 250+ artists spanning many musical genres, is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, and has covered festivals such as Lollapalooza, Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW. Murjani has five self-published books of poetry, three of which have reached the top ten in new releases on Amazon upon release. He is currently the Culture Editor at DraftKings Nation / Vox Media. He was previously staff writer at The Root, senior editor & writer at Substream Magazine, and senior writer, editor, and podcast producer at The Pop Break.

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