Kushida has claimed his very first title in WWE, winning the NXT Cruiserweight Championship after picking up a shock win over Santos Escobar!
On the April 13th edition of NXT, Escobar hosted an open challenge following his victory over Jordan Devlin to become Undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Kushida ended up answering the call and – after an even back-and-forth contest between the two – dethroned the Mexico City native after stunning fans with a roll-up counter to end Escobar’s reign at 312 days.
After his title win, the new champion was confronted by Devlin himself who warned him that whilst he’d have to return to the UK for now, he’d be first in line for a shot when he next returns to the black and gold brand.
Kushida was congratulated by various stars across WWE including War Raiders’ Ivar, who recently returned to RAW alongside Erik on the RAW after WrestleMania:
— Ivar (@Ivar_WWE) April 14, 2021
Despite challenging for both the NXT UK and North American Championships during his two-year NXT tenure, this marks the first time Kushida has captured WWE gold. This also marks the first championship the 37-year-old has held in almost two and half years, last reigning as IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion until Wrestle Kingdom 13. There, he lost the title to Taiji Ishimori after an 88-day reign – shortly before leaving New Japan to sign with WWE.
Elsewhere on the same edition of NXT: Both Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair made surprise returns to NXT whilst Roderick Strong seemingly resigned from the brand following the break-up of The Undisputed ERA.
Check out everything that went down on the April 13th edition of NXT with our complete results coverage!