Scott Mcleod takes a look at the future of WWE NXT after another exciting Takeover from Phoenix.
Saturday night we saw another great Takeover show with NXT Takeover: Phoenix. While I think there have been better Takeovers but we did get an early match of the year candidate with Johnny Gargano vs Ricochet.
Looking at the show has me wondering what does the rest of 2019 hold for NXT as it’s likely that most of the people on the card won’t be around for much longer.
While in the last few years NXT has established itself as a third brand and not just developmental but being developmental puts a limit on how long people can be there. As soon as someone has big loss the speculation begins whether or not they’ll get called up.
Most of last nights card have been mainstays in NXT for a while now and are approaching the point that there’s not a lot left from them. You have Undisputed Era, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, Shayna Baszler, Tommaso Ciampa.
You could say the same about Velveteen Dream but as I’ve covered in another article Dream has more he can do in NXT. He’ll hold the NXT North American Championship before he’s done. Similarly I think Ricochet will stick around for a while, maybe getting a NXT title shot.
Undisputed Era have run NXT for a long time and with them finally losing the tag titles to War Raiders they look prime for a call up. I see them being a post Mania call up as Strong & O’Reilly are due a rematch and Cole was involved in that brawl when the show went off air.
I’ve heard a rumour of Gargano vs Ciampa in a title for title match at the Mania weekend which would be great. I see the loser going up and the winner by the end of the year.
Whenever these guys get called up WWE needs to look who they have currently have on the roster in NXT who could step up when those guys leave. If there was a time to build new stars it’s right now
War Raiders will likely be the dominant tag team for a while as there aren’t many heel teams other than Forgotten Sons. Matt Riddle just screams future NXT Champion to me. He’ll likely have the title by SummerSlam weekend.
You’ve got the likes of Keith Lee, Street Profits, Io Shari, Candice LeRae, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch to name a few all waiting for an opportunity. That’s before the debut of newly signed talent like Kushida, Trevor Lee & Ilja Dragunov. Then there’s Kassius Ohno looks like he may never be called up.
Another thing that would be great is more integrating with NXT UK. We’ve already seen the UK title defended on NXT and recently the likes of Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and Deonna Purrazzo appearing on NXT UK.
It might take a while like it did in late 2016 early 2017 to feel like the same NXT again but that’s why they shouldn’t call too many people up at once. We’ve already seen 6 people get called up and the main roster is crowded as it is. We don’t need more people to get lost in the shuffle.
Call up the people they have a plan for which gives the NXT audience time to get use to the new faces. This way they’ll be more accepting once the old faces finally leave.