Two men who have been, in recent years, among the most notable stars outside the main WWE roster are coming together to have a tremendous match. Their animosity towards one another stems from the NXT Championship tournament, which saw Adam Cole lose to Aleister Black after suffering a knockout courtesy of the Black Mass. As a result of that defeat, during the fatal four way to determine the number one contender, Cole’s attack on Black contributed to the latter’s loss and cost him his chance at the NXT Championship at this Saturday’s NXT Takeover: Philadelphia.
It was taken a step further when Black and Roderick Strong united to face the Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) in an impromptu NXT Tag Team Championship match. Once again Cole’s interference led to Black being distracted and was thus unable to help his partner in the ring, who took the pinfall for their team. Black attempted to aid his teammate at the end of the match by attacking both Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish, but once again Cole came in and attacked from behind. Black once again was laid out after a systematic beatdown by all three members of the Undisputed Era. As they walked away from the ring with Black left laying, Undisputed Era was confronted by William Regal, and a match was made between Cole and Black, and it will be an Extreme Rules match at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia.
On the surface, it is clear that Black has a physical advantage over Cole. However, Cole has faced men bigger than him before and come out victorious. This time around, however, Cole is faced with someone much lankier, and someone who uses an array of martial arts strikes. One of Cole’s greatest character aspects is confidence regardless of whom he is in the ring with. While he may at times appear to be weaker than he is, the truth is, he is more than capable of using that as a ploy to lure in his opposition.
Cole also has the advantage of having both O’Reilly and Fish nearby to aid him in the event that the former Ring of Honor World champion is in danger. It is all but certain that the NXT tag team champions will make themselves not only seen and heard but felt. This is Cole’s first real one-on-one feud since joining NXT last August, and it may prove to be beneficial for him to come out on top. Black is destined for great things, and while a loss to Cole may be considered by some as a setback, considering his on-ongoing push and how he has resonated with the NXT fan base it shouldn’t be considered a slight on him at all. A finish of Cole winning clean would certainly hurt Black. However, we are of the belief that Cole will walk away, but do it by the most unscrupulous of means so that Black isn’t hurt at all in the process. A pinfall loss won’t hurt Black’s credibility if it’s done in such a way that fans are left feeling that the master of the Black Mass was indeed robbed of a win.
Predicted Winner: Adam Cole