After much speculation, and anticipation, WWE fulfilled the majority request of having Tye Dillinger be the 10th entrant in the Royal Rumble match. Soaking in the 52,000-plus crowd inside the Alamodome, Dillinger made his main roster debut much to the adulation of the fans. Although he did not last long in the match, he nearly eliminated top Raw star Braun Strowman, and showed that he fit well in the match.
The evening prior, at TakeOver: San Antonio, Dillinger was unable to best Sanity leader Eric Young, despite a few close calls. Unfortunately, Dillinger has been known for coming short in major matches, as mentioned by color commentator Corey Graves during his match with Young.
Despite his unimpressive win-loss record, Dillinger has been a loyal mainstay to the NXT roster, and has managed to get his “Perfect 10” character more over than many people who are on the main roster.
Dillinger commented about his appearance in a backstage interview.
“If I’m a little lost for words here and there, please forgive me. I’m almost speechless. Tonight’s one of those nights that you dream about. Tonight’s one of those nights that you think about, especially when you get started in this industry. 15 years in the making for me.
“This business is full of ups and downs, and I’ve had my fair share. A perfect example of that is last night at TakeOver, I come up a little short, and as I’m still kind of beating myself over the head about the loss to Eric Young, all of a sudden, I find myself at number 10 in the Royal Rumble in front of 50,000-plus people.”
San Antonio erupted when his theme music came on, giving a sign to those backstage that his character is main roster ready. However, based the comment Triple H made regarding his appearance, it does not look as if Dillinger will be coming up anytime soon.
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 30, 2017
Although the comment was very celebratory, the #WeAreNXT hashtag following his sign of appreciation goes to show that Dillinger will most likely be staying in NXT, and it was a one-off appearance.
For Dillinger, staying in NXT is the best option for him at the time. While his character is one of the best in the company, his resume does not reflect his “Perfect 10” tagline. In fact, Dillinger could even be coined as a glorified jobber.
At TakeOver: R Evolution, Dillinger lost to Baron Corbin in less than a minute. At TakeOver: Brooklyn, Dillinger lost to Apollo Crews in under five minutes. At TakeOver: London, he lost to Sami Zayn. At TakeOver: The End, he lost to Andrade “Cien” Almas in just over five minutes.
Although his match against Bobby Roode at TakeOver: Toronto was a much longer match, he was still unable to win. This also applies to his bout with Eric Young at the recent TakeOver: San Antonio event.
Recently, Triple H has been vocal about NXT not being where he desires it to be. While he has wanted the brand to be a stand-alone entity and not considered a developmental territory for quite some time, NXT is very much in a rebuilding stage. Currently, names such as Ember Moon, Billie Kae, Peyton Royce, DIY, and the Authors of Pain are all benefiting from this, as each of them are improving in their character development and popularity.
For Dillinger, it first starts with actually winning matches and stop being booked to lose so much. With his character already being so popular, it would not take long at all for him to be placed in the main event scene, especially since he has history with the current NXT Champion, Bobby Roode.
As many former NXT stars know, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Especially for the ones who were extremely popular in NXT, but barely even make it on television after being called up to the main roster.
[Featured Image by WWE]