wrestling / Columns

Top 7 WWE Superstars That Should Go To NXT

October 11, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Sami Zayn wwe Raw 4-29-19

Without a shadow of a doubt, the most surprising thing that happened in the world of wrestling on October 2 was the return of Finn Balor to the NXT roster. Balor’s accomplished a lot of things since his days in Full Sail as the longest-reigning NXT Champion. Former Universal Champion, two-time Intercontinental Champion, some incredible matches along the way. He doesn’t fit the traditional profile of a Superstar heading down to NXT.

Then again…it’s not like he was doing a whole heck of a lot over the past few months. His second IC title reign was like most IC title reigns these days, overlooked & basically non-existent. He got squashed by The Fiend Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam and got a little time off before coming back to NXT. As good as Finn is, he could use a little reset.

And to be honest, he probably fits in better at NXT than Raw or SmackDown at this point. We’re no longer at the point where NXT is a demotion. Triple H has assured me of this. NXT is on an equal level with Raw & SmackDown, and should be treated as such by fans, wrestlers & everybody.

Who else could/should get the chance to revitalize their career in NXT? I have seven magnificent ideas…

7. Apollo Crews

Crews recently made a return to NXT to take on KUSHIDA. Which leads to an obvious question…why doesn’t he come back more often? Sure, he got a win over Andrade on an episode of SmackDown, but that only theoretically means something. He’s lost all of his television matches since then, of which there haven’t been many. Apollo has yet to live up to his potential on the main roster, but going back to NXT could help him get his groove back.

6. The Iiconics

Billie Kay & Peyton Royce have wrestled on two televised events since losing the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Once was at SummerSlam. The other was an episode of Main Event. To be fair, it’s not like they were wrestling on TV much more often when they were actually champions. It’s pretty obvious that Vince & WWE Creative don’t “get” Billie & Peyton, and they haven’t since the Iiconics arrived from NXT.

Why not put them back where people did “get” them?

5. Nia Jax

Nia’s a couple of months or so away from returning from two ACL tears, and it seems logical to me to have her work her way back into things in Orlando. Assuming that the upcoming Draft shakes some things up and sends some current NXT folks to Raw & SmackDown, I’m thinking the “dominant heel” position will be open. And even if it isn’t, you could probably get people interested in seeing Nia & Shayna Baszler go at it in the ring.

Rumor & innuendo back a couple of years ago was that Nia got hot-shotted to the main roster because of her family. NXT is a big brand now, live every week on USA. Nobody should have a problem with her working there now.

4. Mojo Rawley

Mojo got re-packaged shortly after WrestleMania. Most of you wouldn’t know about it, and frankly most of what I’ve seen is in the above clip. He’s on Main Event either teaming with Eric Young against Slater Gator (Heath Slater & Titus O’Neil, remember that?), or wrestling No Way Jose. Remember when people thought Mojo’s friendship with Rob Gronkowski was going to lead to something for him? I can only assume Gronk turned WWE’s offer down.

Mojo was well-liked in Orlando, and they could use somebody of his size & athletic ability on NXT in a variety of ways. There’s still some potential here, but it feels like Mojo’s running out of time to realize it in WWE. NXT could give him a chance.

3. The Riott Squad

I’m still not sure why WWE split Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan up. If there was a reason for it, we sure haven’t seen it. Ruby’s missed the last few months due to injury, Liv’s been off TV most of the time & Sarah’s been working the Main Event circuit. Maybe they only had plans for Ruby that had to be shelved, but it seems pretty ridiculous in hindsight.

NXT’s Women’s Division could use a re-modeling. I would have Shayna Baszler move up to Raw or SmackDown since there’s really nothing else she can do on the Black & Yellow Brand. That alone would give chances to folks like Bianca Belair, Candace LeRae, Io Sharai & others that currently have no chance of being NXT Women’s Champion. It’d also give a chance to Riott, Logan & Morgan to actually do something.

2. Sami Zayn

Sami & his buddy Shinsuke Nakamura are both guys who were more productive during their NXT runs than most of their time on the main roster. They don’t have a fun name though, so I can’t lump them together like I can with the Iiconics & Riott Squad. Which one should we send back to NXT? Well, one is currently the Intercontinental Champion and doing exactly what he wanted to do when he came to WWE. Why would I begrudge Shinsuke his retirement plan?

Sami, on the other hand, should actually still be having awesome matches instead of standing ringside and occasionally getting chokeslammed by big stars. It’d be interesting to see if the Full Sail fans would boo Sami Zayn after he was one of the most beloved babyfaces in history during his previous NXT run, but that would be part of the challenge. Sounds like fun to me!

1. Cesaro

We can all agree that Cesaro is a tremendous in-ring talent, right? Can we also agree that WWE has no plans to ever do anything with him as a singles competitor? The guy comes out every few weeks with some new music and ring attire, with each swap garnering less & less of a reaction. Dude came out in capri pants last week. If that isn’t a sign they’re running out of ideas for him, I don’t know what is.

He still has very good matches whenever given the chance, but nobody cares. NXT is the type of place where people care about that kind of thing, and there are plenty of people at the Performance Center that could learn from him.

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Steve Cook