The development of NXT into a legitimate third brand under the WWE umbrella has provided for some memorable moments and debuts on the WWE main roster. Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, Enzo & Cass, Bayley, Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch are the most recent examples of successful promotions, but there’s also a flip side to main-roster call-ups.
The likes of Apollo Crews, Tyler Breeze, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains have found life in the WWE a bit more difficult than some of their contemporaries. It’s believed that that is the reason Triple H re-tooled the promotion process, enforcing a mandate that required members of the WWE writing staff to plot out six months worth of creative storylines for any NXT star about to make the jump.
That decree went hand-in-hand with The Game’s decision to keep top stars worthy of a WWE call-up down in NXT longer than they probably should be. In order for the developmental brand to gain notoriety, they’d need flag-bearing performers. Balor, Joe, Bayley and now Shinsuke Nakamura are all examples of superstars who clearly deserved a spot in WWE, but they were needed in NXT to elevate its status.
Nakamura may be the next big star headed for the bright lights of the WWE, but there’s a chance he may not be the next overall superstar getting promoted. According to a new report, “The Drifter” Elias Samson is scheduled to debut with the WWE main roster soon as officials iron out his plans on either WWE RAW or WWE SmackDown Live.
Samson lost a ‘Loser Leaves NXT’ match against Kassius Ohno during last week’s tapings with the match scheduled to air next week. This stipulation will open the door for Samson’s promotion to the WWE, which is in fact, much later than originally planned. As it turns out, The Drifter was first scheduled for a WWE call-up several months ago, but it was delayed when Samson suffered a broken ankle last June.
There was some discussion among WWE officials about bringing him up once he was fully recovered, but the decision was made to bring him back slowly, reintroduce his character and shake off any ring rust with the developmental brand. Samson did wrestle again after the loss to Ohno, however, working under a mask as the El Vagabondo character during an NXT live event in Miami.
It’s not clear yet whether Samson will work on WWE RAW or WWE SmackDown, but the speculation has been the blue brand for the last few days due to the smaller roster size. There hasn’t been a definitive date made public yet either, but that speculation has also included a debut date of April 4, which would be the first WWE SmackDown after WWE WrestleMania. Nakamura has also been rumored to be promoted to Tuesday nights so it’d be interesting to see if they unveil both on the same show, especially considering Shinsuke’s would be much more significant.
WWE WrestleMania week has recently become a memorable time frame for NXT stars to make the jump. Last year, Baron Corbin made his main roster debut at the big show in Dallas by winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The next night on WWE RAW, we witnessed the debuts of Enzo & Big Cass and Apollo Crews, while the Vaudevillains were introduced to the WWE Universe later that week on SmackDown.
And then, of course, the WWE Brand Extension Draft became responsible for several other call-ups, including Nia Jax, Carmella, Balor, Mojo Rawley, American Alpha and Alexa Bliss. It appears as if The Drifter will bring his musical talents to the WWE next as Elias Samson is slated to become the next WWE superstar.
[Featured Image by WWE]