WWE’s developmental brand has been the home of many incredible matches and feuds over the past four years. While a lot of this can be credited to the staff NXT and the PC have on hand, along with their writing staff, the fact that they bring in well-established talent to NXT prior to their main roster debut doesn’t hurt.
Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre. All were required to work in NXT before being called up to the main roster. Sometimes it’s strange to see people who were top draws in other companies forced to go through a developmental system, but Edge and Christian revealed on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness that going through NXT shouldn’t be seen as an insult.
The NXT thing is kind of the thing to do now when you come in, right? There are a few guys that pass through that like an AJ Styles, but you look at a guy like Samoa Joe or Finn Balor or those types of guys that went to NXT and had strong runs and got their feet wet, so to speak, and moved on and are doing really well…I think I would’ve liked to have experienced the whole NXT thing.
I think it could be a different answer on how far you got. For example, AJ Styles. He’s very well established. He had a name that was very well known outside of the WWE. Outside of the company, his might be the most recognized wrestling name in the world. Samoa Joe as well. He could’ve debuted straight to Raw or Smackdown, absolutely.
They still have set it up where people make their bones in NXT…you have a guy like Tomasso Ciampa who is going to be huge, but he had to go there first. He went to NXT and made his bones.
How do you feel about big names being sent to NXT before their main roster runs? Can you think of any more that could’ve gone straight to the top without having to work in the WWE’s developmental system?