NXT has been hyping up the WWE renaissance of Kassius Ohno for a while now. Since his departure, the popularity of NXT has downright exploded. After Ohno left, WWE signed free agents like Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura to the yellow brand. Because of its incredibly knowledgeable and loyal fanbase, NXT has become a more pure wrestling show over Raw and SmackDown Live. NXT fans are often more aware of promotions and wrestler outside of WWE, which creates an odd “trickle-up” effect.
First, NXT hypes up a star coming to the main roster. Then, the more casual fans hear the name and begin to create even more hype. Fans did this for Samoa Joe, Bayley, and Finn Balor alike. Additionally, NXT needs more star power on their show now that both Samoa Joe and Balor are both on the main roster. Thus, last week’s NXT was a perfect time for Kassius Ohno to return.
Kassius Ohno’s NXT Return Came at a Perfect Time
Creating A Star and Restoring Star Power
As mentioned before, NXT tends to have a very knowledgeable wrestling fanbase. Their fans fully invest themselves in the show each and every week, and it shows. Sometimes, it seems that the fans alone put certain entertainers over (looking at you, No Way Jose). And now that many of their former superstars have ascended to Raw and SmackDown Live, fans of the yellow brand need another wrestler to sink their teeth into.
Aside from former TNA star Bobby Roode and Japan’s Shinsuke Nakamura, no wrestler has really taken the reigns from Joe or Balor. While Roode and Nakamura are both terrific, sometimes it takes more than two to tango in wrestling. And Ohno could be the man to complete their main event triumvirate. The Glorious One and the King of Strong Style are terrific, but it’s time for Ohno to enter the fray.
This one goes two ways. First of all, Ohno will draw fans to Full Sail University without a doubt. His style, charisma, and talent are nothing to sneeze at and are fun to watch both on television and in person. Ohno cannot be overlooked, and fans know that. But as fans know all too well, their happiness too often does not matter in the eyes of WWE’s creative team.
Secondly, and this is the big one for WWE: Ohno is going to make a lot of cash. Let’s take a look at him for a second here. Kassius Ohno. Even the name rolls off the tongue. Additionally, it’s just as easy to market as it is to say. WWE’s eyes turned into slot machines as soon as they thought of that name. His former name, Chris Hero, is a great moniker in and of itself, but Kassius Ohno? That one just exudes “cool.” Next, just take a look at the guy. Ohno checks all the boxes in WWE’s mind. He’s conventionally attractive, stands at 6’5, and has an exciting style. He’s Vince McMahon‘s dream come true. And for once, he’s the fans’ dream come true as well.
Let’s review. Kassius Ohno is not only a master of professional wrestling, but a master of perfect timing as well. He’s the perfect storm. A perfectly marketable name who is conventionally attractive. Additionally, he’s a name that NXT fans know and have seen before. He’s a perfect answer to the thin main event scene of NXT, and will work fantastically with Roode and Nakamura. He’s there to be a mentor and an anchor for the yellow brand, and will likely carry the torch from Bobby Roode. He might go by Kassius Ohno now, but it’s time for the man formerly known as Chris Hero to become the “hero” of NXT.