For several years now, NXT has been billed as a developmental league for WWE, even though some of the most talented wrestlers from around the world come through there. If you look at the regular NXT house show lineups, you’ll see a lineup full of stars that don’t need to be in WWE’s developmental system, and who should be on WWE’s main roster due to its serious lack of depth.
Why are all of these talented stars stuck down in NXT? Because the promotion is being run by Paul “Triple H” Levesque, who will eventually take over for Vince McMahon as WWE’s commander in chief. WWE wants to show its shareholders that Levesque can, in fact, build and run a promotion successfully prior to him taking over for McMahon, because they don’t want the shareholders to lose faith in the product after McMahon is no longer in the picture.
Keeping stars such as Finn Balor, who is in his mid-30s, down in NXT for nearly two years does have consequences, which is exactly what we saw at SummerSlam. Balor, who has been in the business for well over a decade, was clearly ready to be on the main roster as soon as WWE signed him, but they kept him down in developmental because they wanted to build the promotion, and as soon as he was called up, he got hurt.
While keeping these talented veterans down in NXT is fun to watch, and it makes the Takeover shows a lot more fun and special, WWE needs these people on the main roster badly, as some of them have the potential to be megastars for them, and here are five NXT stars who could really inject some much needed life into WWE’s main roster.
- Bobby Roode
Bobby Roode is a little over three months away from turning 40, so he shouldn’t be kept down in NXT for very long. But, despite his age, Roode isn’t all that beat up, but that could change if he spends too much time down in WWE’s developmental league.
Of course, Roode spent the majority of his wrestling career in TNA/Impact Wrestling, but back at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, he got more over in one night than he did in over a decade with TNA.
He has one of the best entrances in WWE today, and he has the potential to be the top heel on either Raw or SmackDown. But, we probably won’t see him get a chance to take on that role until next year, because WWE will be counting on him to carry NXT for the next couple of months.
- Austin Aries
We have some of the most loyal fans of any industry. I appreciate all of your appreciation. pic.twitter.com/oicJZYsYsz— Austin Healy Aries (@AustinAries) August 22, 2016
We all know that WWE is planning on introducing a cruiserweight division onRaw after the CWC comes to an end next month, and if the division is going to be successful, they need to have someone like Austin Aries be the face of the division.
Of course, Aries is probably a long way away from being called up, as he’s currently in a feud with the returning Hideo Itami. But, once he is called up, he should be moved to Raw, where he and Neville can do battle over the Cruiserweight Championship.
Asuka is widely considered to be the best women’s wrestler in the entire company, but, it doesn’t appear that she’ll be called up to the main roster anytime soon, even though she’s pretty much done everything she can do down in NXT.
Since the departure of the four horsewomen — Bayley, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch — the NXT women’s division has taken a hit. So, WWE probably wants Asuka to be the face of the division while they rebuild it, and once they feel it’s strong enough, the current NXT Women’s Champion will be called up to the main roster.
Right now, the SmackDown women’s division desperately needs some credibility, and Asuka should be able to add just that if she were called up to the blue brand.
- Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has everything it takes to be WWE’s top heel, and he’s the perfect opponent for Brock Lesnar. But, WWE may not see him as the ideal opponent for Lesnar, and even though he has the potential to be the top heel in the company, they may position him a lot like they positioned Kevin Owens, just because of his physique.
It does look like Joe’s run in NXT could be coming to an end, as he recently dropped the NXT Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. But, it may be a few more months before he’s called up, because he may get a rematch or two to close out his NXT run.
While Joe should be on the main roster right now, we probably won’t see him debut there until the Royal Rumble in January.
- Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura is, by far, the most charismatic guy in wrestling, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be on the main roster right now.
Back in January, it was reported that WWE had signed four of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest stars — Nakamura, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson — and of the four, Nakamura was the only one who was sent to NXT. Typically, WWE wants to send an outsider down to NXT so they can acclimate to the WWE style, but Nakamura acclimated to it the moment he walked through the curtain at NXT Takeover: Dallas.
Nakamura is 36-years-old, and he’s pretty beat up. So he shouldn’t be left down in NXT for much longer, but, you never know, maybe WWE will want him to assume the Finn Balor role as the face of the promotion, which would mean that he’ll be down in NXT for at least another year and a half.
[Image via WWE]