Fantasy booking an NXT Homecoming tournament

Scott McLeod looks at what would happen if the superstars of NXT past and present met in a high stakes fantasy tournament.

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Cast your minds back to a decade ago as WWE’s version of ECW was about to finally be put out of its misery. In order to determine a number one contender for Christian’s ECW title the brand had tournament featuring members of the ECW roster against past ECW stars.

To some, it was the best thing WWE ECW ever did.

Currently NXT are doing the NXT breakout tournament, featuring newly signed talent. The tournament has instantly made better use of these eight wrestlers than half the roster.

This, plus my love for a tournament makes me want to see an NXT Homecoming tournament.

They’ve already done NXT vs NXT alumni as part of Worlds Collide, but there wasn’t anything on the line.

Much like the breakout tournament I would have the winner receive a title shot of their choosing.

Format

I would have it as a 16-man single elimination with the majority of the NXT Homecoming tournament taking place on TV and the finals on a Takeover.

On the NXT side I would have; Roderick Strong, Kushida, Keith Lee, Damien Priest, Dominik Dijakovic, Westly Blake, Steve Cutler & Tyler Breeze.

The main roster side would be made up of; Apollo Crews, Killian Dain, Buddy Murphy, Robert Roode, Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura, EC3 & Chad Gable.

The First Round

The hard part when deciding who goes through is you don’t want to make all the NXT guys look bad, but at the same time you don’t want to bring the guys from the main roster in just to lose.

So, I’m determining it based on the best match ups and who needs it more. The only reason I included Blake is so I could have him against his former partner Murphy.

So, the lay out of the first round would be:

  • Murphy beats Blake                          
  • Keith Lee beat Dain      
  • Kushida beats Gable                        
  • Priest beats Rusev
  • Nakamura beats Dijakovic                
  • Robert Roode beats Cutler
  • Tyler Breeze beats Apollo                  
  • EC3 beats Roderick Strong

So, we have an even split of 4 main roster guys going through to the next round.

Breeze has just returned to NXT and is coming off a big loss to Dream so he needs a win. The other NXT guys are all fairly new to the company and could go far in the future.

I think all of the main roster guys who have been put through are the ones who most need to remind people how good they are.

I was between Rusev or Nakamura to send through but I think Nakamura is the bigger star.

Quarter Finals

  • Kushida beats Murphy                    
  • Keith Lee beats Damien Priest
  • Nakamura beats Breeze                
  • Robert Roode beat EC3

Kushida vs Murphy would be a great clash to two Cruiserweight calibre athletes.

An important thing for the tournament going forward is Roode starting to display more heel tendencies as he shoves EC3 causing him to nearly hits the ref. This gives Roode the opportunity to hit the Glorious DDT.

Semi Finals

  • Kushida beats Nakamura in a back and forth match after countering a Kinshasa attempt into a hoverboard lock
  • Robert Roode beats Keith Lee after low blow behind the ref’s back

Nakamura vs Kushida is a match I don’t think a lot of people have thought about, but would be a match of the year candidate if it happened.

They never got a chance to wrestle in Japan as Nakamura wrestled as a heavyweight and Kushida as a junior.

I love Keith Lee because he can do extraordinary things for a man his size and is very charismatic.

He hasn’t had the biggest showcase on NXT as he hasn’t had a Takeover match yet so getting to the semi finals would be a great showcase for him.

Roode going through thanks to heelish tactics established a clear heel and clear face dynamic for the final. Something I think all tournaments need.

This way you have Kushida, who had a long hard-fought match to get to the final, while Roode cheated his way there.

Final

  • Kushida beats Robert Roode in the finals with the Hoverboard lock

The Semis would air two weeks prior to Takeover with both men cutting pre-taped promos on the go home episode. 

Roode would explain his heelish actions as this is what he did when he was on top in NXT and since he went to main roster, he’s gotten soft.

He would also say that NXT needs him to be champion as it’s slipped since he left all the while putting down Kushida.

Kushida on the other hand would cus a humble face promo talking about how much it would mean to win this tournament.

At Takeover, Roode would go after the back of Kushida, never wanting to give a chance to gain momentum and lock in the Hoverboard lock. Have him constantly talk trash before Kushida makes his comeback. Despite his attempts to avoid it, the Hoverboard lock it gets locked in and Roode taps.

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TOKYO, JAPAN – JANUARY 04: Yujiro Kushida during Wrestle Kingdom 13 at Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by New Japan Pro-Wrestling/Getty Images)

I picked Kushida to win as he’s one of the newest members of the roster and to have him win a tournament like this would show the fans he’s not being pigeonholed due to his size.

I would like to see him as North American champion and a tournament like this would be a good way for him to earn a shot. 

Also having him win each of his matches with the Hoverboard lock puts that over as a deadly submission finisher.

Roode as the heel of the tournament would remind people he’s more than just a catchphrase.

So, what to do you think of the idea of the NXT Homecoming tournament?

What do you think of the way I laid out the brackets? I tried to do it in a way that made sense and would guarantee great matches throughout. Even if some of the main roster guys went out in the first round at least they’re being given the opportunity to do what they love which is wrestle.

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