WWE rumors indicate that the company is set to call up a new fresh crop of wrestlers to its main roster as early as next week as the company gears up for this year’s WrestleMania event.
At the top of this list, of course, is popular NXT women’s champion Asuka.
It was announced this week that the Japanese mega-star would be added to WWE’s March 12 live Madison Square Garden event.
At this show, Wrestling Inc. noted, Asuka will replace the injured former Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi in an eight-woman tag team match in which she teams with the returning Tamina Snuka, Becky Lynch, and Nikki Bella to take on current champ Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Natalya, and Carmella.
While WWE rumors seem to indicate that Asuka is a lock to leave NXT to join Raw or Smackdown at some point, most in the know speculate that this appearance, as well as future ones, are more of a trial to see how Asuka would mesh with the other competitors on Smackdown before they take her out of her very highly successful role on NXT.
After all, as the Inquisitr noted late last week, Asuka is set to overtake Bill Goldberg’s undefeated streak from his time with WCW in the late 1990s, in the very near future.
WWE rumors also indicate that Asuka will be added to WWE’s upcoming live events on March 13 (Charleston, WV), March 25 (Johnson City, TN), March 26 (Raleigh, NC), and March 27 (Norfolk, VA).
Those last three shows, in particular, seem to indicate that Asuka will be touring on the main roster the entire week headed into WWE WrestleMania, perhaps showing evidence that the company is doing a trial run to see how its large arena crowds react to “The Empress of Tomorrow” today.
In other WWE rumors, NXT up-and-comer Elias Samson has impressed WWE officials to the point where he is a strong candidate to be added to WrestleMania’s “Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.”
Samson — who is slated to lose a “Loser Leaves NXT” match to returnee Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) on the March 8 episode of WWE NXT — would then go missing for a few weeks prior to resurfacing in the battle royal. The news of Samson’s abrupt departure from the NXT program also comes by way of Wrestling Inc.
As “The Drifter” on WWE NXT, Samson has garnered a following for his playing guitar prior to his matches. Now, some hope that Elias will be playing before a much larger audience instead.
Of all the WWE rumors of callups set for a Raw or Smackdown debut, however, perhaps none are more desired than former two-time WWE NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
Nakamura, who was recruited from New Japan Pro Wrestling, has been heavily rumored to be main roster bound in recent months, especially in light of his loss of the NXT title to Bobby Roode at the Takeover event the night before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in Houston.
“He’s there,” said WWE’s C.O.O. and wrestling star Triple H (Paul Levesque), who oversees the NXT brand, during a recent WWE conference call, as documented by Cageside Seats.
“Now it’s just a matter of time of when it fits in and when he fits into that, to moving up to that main roster,” continued WWE’s Triple H. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
If WWE rumors are true, then that moment could come at any time as the company gears up for its largest show of the year.
Already, Shinsuke stirred the pot recently by challenging his close friend — and Smackdown star A.J. Styles — to a WrestleMania match during a WWE conference in Japan, albeit in a manner most people believe was of his own volition.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) February 21, 2017
Styles, of course, would downplay the ultimatum by continuing to reference his quest to regain his WWE Championship at WrestleMania instead.
@ShinsukeN how's this? Sorry, but I do have a match at Wrestlemania. N fact, I'll be headlining Wrestlemania after tonight.
— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) February 21, 2017
Whether Shinsuke Nakamura — or any member of the NXT roster — jumps to WWE’s main roster either before, during, or after WrestleMania, fans seem to be very excited about the prospect of some much-needed change.
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]