Monday, 30 March 2015

Who's NXT?

This article is part of #ATPW24, in aid of MIND Charity. You can help support the cause by going to

As I touched on earlier in the article previewing tonight's Raw, it's become somewhat of a tradition to debut new talent the night after WrestleMania to freshen things up a little. So with that in mind I thought I'd take a look at a handful of NXT'ers who could be next to take the step up to the main roster and just exactly what it is they could bring to the brand.


NXT Accomplishments - NXT Tag Team Champion

Who? - A masked lucha style wrestler, formerly seen in places like AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined, Kalisto has spent time working with Sin Cara as part of the Lucha Dragons tag team. Plenty of flips and tricks, and high paced offence make it easy to get behind Kalisto. Perhaps, yet to see the best of him in NXT however.

Why now? - Whilst I'm sure we've seen Kalisto at his best yet, WWE will be looking for someone to fill the Latin American market, with the departures of Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio. Lucha Dragons partner Sin Cara has failed to capture the imagination of viewers on his own, maybe WWE is hoping that the come catapult Kalisto into singles success. They've also had run outs on Superstars recently against The Ascension. Cesaro and Kidd are in need of new challengers at the moment, perhaps an impressive debut could put the Lucha Dragons straight into contention.

Adrian Neville

NXT Accomplishments - NXT Champion, 2 time NXT Tag Team Champion

Notable Matches - vs. Sami Zayn (at Takeover: R-Evolution), vs. Finn Balor (at Takeover: Rival), vs. Tyson Kidd (at Takeover)

Who? - An accomplished indy worker, known mostly for his work in Dragon Gate before his NXT debut in January 2013 (teaming with Oliver Grey to defeat Drew McIntyre and Heath Sltater) "The Man Who Gravity Forgot" became an NXT favourite very quickly. His speed and agility made him an instant fan favourite. In recent times has shown an ability to work a nuanced tweener role in his feud with Sami Zayn and subsequent bout with Finn Balor. 

Why now? - It's been just over two years in the developmental system for Neville and he has done all that can be really done on the hour long Network show. His matches with Zayn and Balor proved that he has developed strongly as a performer, becoming a rounded sports entertainer over his time in NXT. Could be interesting to see how Neville interacted with fellow Englishman Bad News Barrett if bought up.

Sasha Banks

NXT Accomplishments - NXT Women's Champion (Current)

Notable Matches - vs. Charlotte (at Takeover: R-Evolution)

Who? - Since her debut against Paige in December 2012, Sasha Banks has became one of the most accomplished women on a roster of accomplished women. Strong character work is her forte, with the NXT crowd regaling her with their favourite chant "Sasha's Rachet" whenever she makes an appearance. This character work spills over into her matches, which tend to tell stories, whilst also featuring a number of moves not regularly seen out of the Divas. 

Why now? - The diva's division needs some new blood. Paige and AJ have been feuding and teaming for the best part of a year and if hasn't been them it's the Bella Twins who are the focus. Sasha is ready to make the move up, although whether they may wait until she drops the Women's title on NXT first.

Tyler Breeze

Notable Match - vs. Sami Zayn (at Takeover)

Who? - It's Tyler Bloody Breeze. He sings his own entrance music. He's obsessed with his own image and carries a big fluffy selfie stick to the ring. He cuts a mean promo and can go in the ring. What's not to love about Tyler?

Why now? - Quite simply, Breeze has been in developmental for way, way too long. He had his first match in developmental way back in 2010 in FCW and has become one of the brightest stars on the NXT roster. Perhaps one of the most underrated guys down at the Performance center, Tyler would find similarities with The Miz, who seemingly needs to find a new best friend. Could we see Tyler side with Miz tonight on Raw against Mizdow?


NXT Accomplishements - NXT Women's Champion

Notable Matches - vs. Natalya (at Takeover), vs. Sasha Banks (at Takeover: R-Evolution), vs. Bayley (at Takeover: Fatal 4Way)

Who? - At first she was Ric Flair's daughter and then she became a talented and confident competitor in her own right. She's dominated the NXT Diva's division for some time and look good whilst doing. She brings something completely different from any other diva currently on the main roster and has a certain legitimacy to her in-ring performances.

Why now? - Very similar reasons to those given for Sasha Banks, it's time to shuffle things around in the Diva's division. Although, unlike Banks, Charlotte isn't holding any gold around her waist at the moment, so she may get the nod to take the step up first. Especially with Daddy Ric still in town.

So who would you most like to see turn up on Raw tonight? Kalisto? Neville? Sasha? Breeze? Charlotte? Someone else? The roster is deep and any number of superstars could make their surprise debuts tonight, that's all part of the fun of the Raw after Mania!

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