KUSHIDA defeats Santos Escobar for NXT Cruiserweight Championship

Originally published at KUSHIDA defeats Santos Escobar for NXT Cruiserweight Championship

For the first time since arriving to NXT in 2019, KUSHIDA won a WWE title on the 4/13 episode of NXT. He accepted an open challenge that was issued by the now-former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar.

Escobar instructed Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza to not interfere in the match as he could take KUSHIDA himself. Escobar is coming off of winning a ladder match at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver to take Jordan Devlin’s Cruiserweight Title and become Undisputed Champion.

The final sequence of the match between KUSHIDA and Escobar saw the two talents exchanging roll ups and different variations of pins until KUSHIDA hooked in a deep cover and won the title.

IS THIS REAL LIFE?! 😱 😱 😱@KUSHIDA_0904 has defeated @EscobarWWE to become the NEW #Cruiserweight Champion in an #OpenChallenge. #AndNew #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/TMTfol8WtQ

— WWE (@WWE) April 14, 2021

While in the trainer’s room after his title win, KUSHIDA was congratulated by NXT GM William Regal and then approached by former Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin who proclaimed that he is the best Cruiserweight.

Kushida in New Japan was awesome. In NXT they are wasting his talent.

A year ago I’d agree, but that belt under Escobar has grown in stature like it never has prior, so I don’t think this is a terrible spot for him. As a huge KUSHIDA guy from prior to NXT, it sucks that he hasn’t been a more important part of the show, but over the last 6 months or so they have been trying to use him pretty much everywhere, so I’m giving them a chance with this one. They haven’t been ignoring that belt at all so he should be doing important things weekly now.


Don’t know why they had Escobar drop the title, especially right after unifying the cruiserweight titles, unless he’s going up to main roster or going into the NA title picture or even the NXT title picture. Kushida is great in the ring but Santos Escobar is a star.

I’d argue moving him to bigger things at the very moment the belt is at its highest value and his run in that division has climaxed is the best thing you can do.