It looks like NXT is about to get a whole lot shinier.
Tegan Nox made her return to the ring this past Thursday at an NXT live event in Orlando, Florida. She had been out of action since last August, where she suffered multiple injuries to her knee in a quarterfinal match against Rhea Ripley in the 2018 Mae Young Classic.
Her time in WWE hasn’t been the smoothest by any means. She signed with the company in April 2017 and was set to participate in the inaugural Mae Young Classic, but tore her ACL shortly before the tournament and had to be replaced.
She returned the following April and competed at NXT house shows throughout the year before being announced for the second Mae Young Classic. She defeated Zatara in the opening round and Nicole Matthews in the second round before suffering the knee injury against Ripley.
But now she’s back and ready to leave her mark on the black-and-yellow brand. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing her on NXT TV sooner rather than later, so that leaves us with one question: who is going to be her first opponent?
There could be quite a few answers, so here are five possible first opponents for Tegan Nox!
1. Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke
Kicking off the list are technically two women, but you rarely ever see one without the other.
Duke & Shafir, along with the NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, have been terrorizing the NXT women’s division for quite some time now. They have also been instrumental in helping Baszler retain her title on numerous occasions.
But they might have met their match in Mia Yim. Over the past few weeks, The HBIC has taken both women out in order to face Baszler one-on-one. With the champion busy dealing with Yim, Duke & Shafir might come back angry and ready to take their anger out on someone.
So why not the returning Nox? There already is a little bit of history between them if you think about it; Nox’s best friend, Dakota Kai, feuded with Baszler, Duke, and Shafir off and on over the last few years. With Kai being out with a knee injury of her own, Nox could look for some retribution on her friend’s behalf.
With Duke & Shafir still being relatively new to NXT, having Nox as their first real feud would be a good starting point and help them gain valuable experience in and out of the ring. It would also be good for Nox as well; starting off with a feud like this could help her ease back into things in a way that she might not be able to do if it was a higher-profile matchup. In the end, both parties could benefit from this kind of storyline.
2. Bianca Belair
Up next is a woman who is stuck in creative limbo at the moment.
Belair hasn’t been the same since losing two straight matches to Mia Yim. The EST of NXT has picked up several wins since, but something just doesn’t seem right. She looks almost bored after securing these wins as if she isn’t getting the level of competition she desires.
Maybe in the near future, she’ll grow tired of it and demand that General Manager, William Regal, find her some worthy competition. Enter Nox, who I think would fit that role very well. If Belair wants a challenge, how about one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world?
These two could possibly put on some quality matches if given the chance. It would give Belair something to do and give Nox a decent rivalry right out of the gate.
3. Vanessa Borne & Aliyah
Then we move on to another inseparable duo in the women’s division. Borne & Aliyah have had quite the chemistry since teaming up, but it feels like they’re never going to go any further than where they are now.
This would be another example of a good storyline for Nox if creative wanted her to take things slow, to begin with. While some may think that Duke & Shafir would be the easier option due to their lack of experience, it feels like they’re being groomed to have a bigger role within the NXT women’s division.
That would leave Borne & Aliyah, two mean girls, who feel they are superior to the rest of the roster. But if their recent “feuds” give us any indication, they might never be anything more than enhancement talent to put other women over. Nox would most likely make short work of The Highers and move on to a new feud.
4. Io Shirai
Next, we look at a rather intriguing matchup that would pit The Girl with the Shiniest Wizard against The Genius of the Sky.
Shirai has had quite the shift in attitude over recent weeks. The final straw came last month, where she once again unsuccessfully challenged Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship inside a steel cage. Candice LeRae tried to even the odds, but Shirai ended up attacking her after the match and stated that she didn’t need anyone’s help.
This seems to be the current feud for Shirai, but a match between the two has yet to be announced. If Nox isn’t appearing on NXT TV for a little while, this could give Shirai and LeRae enough time to settle their differences before moving on to other things.
A matchup between Nox and Shirai would definitely be high-profile and wildly entertaining. Both women are considered high-flyers and could create some crazy and intense matches if given the chance. However, that also depends on if NXT allows Nox to continue her high-flying ways once she returns.
Regardless, Nox vs. Shirai would be something that I think many people would want to see at some point.
5. Rhea Ripley
Finally, we come to the woman that would help make everything come full circle for Nox.
This storyline could easily write itself. Ripley could continue to boast about how she was the one who injured Nox and destroyed her dreams of winning the Mae Young Classic while bragging about all that she’s accomplished while Nox was sitting on the sidelines. She can get into Nox’s head week after week, making her question if she still has what it takes to get the job done.
While Ripley has been heavily featured on NXT UK TV lately rather than NXT, Pete Dunne has shown that superstars can switch between both brands if the opportunity presents itself.
There really couldn’t be a better first feud for Nox than one with Ripley. Sure, it could be done later down the line, but why not have her face and exorcise those demons that have haunted her ever since that fateful night at Full Sail last August? If Nox were to come out of that feud on top, it could give her the confidence boost that helps her get to the top of the division.
In my opinion, this matchup is almost inevitable and something that many are looking forward to seeing. It’s only a matter of time before these two ladies clash again, and it could easily have the potential of being one of the hottest feuds NXT has seen in quite some time.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!