Aleister Black continued his dominant NXT run on Saturday night with a victory over the Velveteen Dream at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, representing another step in his ascent to the top of the brand.
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Black is among NXT"s most compelling characters, and he is arguably the most dangerous in-ring performer it has to offer as well.
The Netherlands native made the Velveteen Dream pay for his mind games in Houston, but there are likely bigger matches and accomplishments in his future.
While Black is undoubtedly deserving of an NXT Championship run already, it appears likely that Drew McIntyre and Adam Cole will be stalwarts in that scene for the foreseeable future. Because of that, NXT has the luxury of continuing to slowly build Black.
Having already picked up hard-hitting victories at TakeOver events against the likes of Andrade "Cien" Almas and Hideo Itami, Roderick Strong is a logical next opponent leading up to the TakeOver one night before the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.
Strong has somewhat struggled to build a character, but his in-ring work is undeniable, and the potential is there for him and Black to tear the house down with a fantastic match.
Also, with Strong teaming alongside The Authors of Pain at TakeOver: WarGames, the NXT writers could keep Strong with Paul Ellering to add a darker side to his character that would mesh well with Black"s gimmick.
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An obvious candidate to feud with Black since his NXT debut has been Sanity leader Eric Young. It hasn"t happened yet, and since Sanity is currently in a face role, it doesn"t appear to be on the radar.
Once Sanity finishes up its rivalry with The Undisputed Era and The Authors of Pain, however, the option to turn heel again is on the table.
Although Sanity is popular, NXT fans would turn on the stable with relative ease if it decides to target Black leading up to TakeOver in New Orleans prior to WrestleMania.
The build to that match would be dark, chilling and entertaining, and beating Young would be the final test for Black before graduating to the NXT Championship scene.
Assuming Cole is NXT champion by that point, he would be the perfect heel foil to Black, especially since he would enlist the help of Kyle O"Reilly and Bobby Fish.
Since Black beat O"Reilly and Fish in their respective debut matches on NXT, there is already a built-in storyline as well.
It is seemingly a foregone conclusion that Black is destined for the NXT title, but there are plenty of intriguing angles available to him before he finally takes his place as the face of the brand.
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