The extravaganza that is WWE’s WrestleMania isn’t quite over yet. The WWE promotes the event as a week-long celebration, beginning with the go-home episodes of RAW and SmackDown Live, continuing with the WWE Hall of Fame, the NXT Takeover event and then WrestleMania itself. But it won’t officially end until the fallout tapings of RAW and SmackDown are complete. And if that’s the case, we may even have to consider 205 Live on Wednesday into that same equation.
In any event, the Monday after WrestleMania has become one of the most celebrated days of the year in the WWE with RAW providing some special moments less than 24 hours removed from its biggest showcase of the year. In light of the WWE brand extension, SmackDown is also set to make an impact 48 hours afterward ‘Mania went dark, and both shows appear poised to benefit from NXT.
Triple H and his crew of NXT officials have had such a successful run with the WWE’s third brand that the WWE decided to switch the Hall of Fame ceremony and the Takeover special this year. The WWE Hall of Fame class of 2017 was inducted on Friday night while NXT produced it’s biggest show of the year on Saturday. It had been reversed in previous years.
As seen, NXT Takeover: Orlando was headlined by Bobby Roode successfully defending his NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura in what is on the short-list of contenders for the match of the weekend. Their main competition may have come from the same card as the triple threat tag team match between DIY, The Authors of Pain and The Revival was worthy of a WWE bout.
From the NXT Takeover: Orlando card, the WWE Universe could see as many as five NXT stars promoted to the WWE’s main roster this week alone. It’s expected that Nakamura will be called up and will likely report to the blue brand on Tuesday. Joining him on the main roster will be Tye Dillinger and Andrade “Cien” Almas, but it’s unclear yet which of WWE’s top brands they’ll be reporting to yet.
There has been speculation that Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder of The Revival will also be promoted from NXT to the WWE this week as well. That was fueled further by the fact that they did not capture the NXT Tag Team Championships on Saturday night. What’s more is that Elias Samson was set for a call-up as well, but that has been put on hold for reasons unknown at this time. Samson was originally set for a promotion back in January, but they held off as he was coming back from injury.
The Drifter competed in a match during the latest NXT tapings against Kassius Ohno with a ‘Loser Leaves Town’ stipulation attached. Samson lost and was obviously not used on the Takeover special, but his call-up will be delayed until further notice. He has been wrestling on NXT house shows under a mask lately so as to stay in ring shape but preserve the integrity of the stipulation.
No Way Jose was originally scheduled to wrestle at NXT Takeover: Orlando alongside Dillinger, Ruby Riot and Roderick Strong, but a backstage attack from their opponents, SAnitY, prevented him from competing. He was replaced by Ohno, but the heel faction still emerged victorious. Of all those mentioned for call-ups to the WWE this week, every one of them put over other NXT talent on the way out, including Almas’ loss to the debuting Aleister Black.
It will be interesting to see where WWE officials place these NXT graduates this week. RAW is set to lose the Undertaker and Goldberg, while Chris Jericho won’t be far behind if he isn’t gone already. Finn Balor is expected to return on Monday to help fill the void on the flagship show. On SmackDown, John Cena is poised for another hiatus, and Shane McMahon won’t be taking up a key spot on the card moving forward. SmackDown has a thinner roster as it stands anyway, so it could be the destination for the majority of the incoming class.
[Featured Image by WWE]