As documented by WrestleTalk, Sports Illustrated and several sources have revealed that NXT’s resident power couple, Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae, will reportedly be traded to the main roster during the upcoming WWE draft. The event will commence on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown.
Both performers had matches at Sunday’s NXT Takeover 31 event, and neither of them walked away with the victory. Gargano lost to Damian Priest in a North American Championship bout, while LeRae failed to win the Women’s Championship from Io Shirai.
It is believed that both wrestlers were used to put over the titleholders before they moved to the main roster. With Shirai set to turn her attention to Ember Moon and Toni Storm, there doesn’t appear to be a spot for LeRae in the title scene moving forward.
LeRae could also add some much-needed depth to the women’s divisions on any of WWE’s flagship shows. As noted by Ringside News, some female in-ring performers have been vocal about the company’s lack of options in that department in recent times.
Gargano, meanwhile, has been an NXT mainstay who’s accomplished everything there is to win on the black-and-gold brand. The superstar is a Triple Crown winner who’s held every eligible title, except for the Cruiserweight Championship.
Gargano has been hesitant to move to another brand in the past, but he arguably needs the change of scenery in order to keep him fresh. He’s been a long-term fixture of the main event scene as both a babyface and heel.
It’s very common for top stars to lose to rising talents before they jump ship to another show. The fact Gargano and LeRae lost on Sunday and neither appears to have any other storyline requirements at the moment suggests that Monday Night Raw or SmackDown will be their next destination.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Vince McMahon supposedly has his eye on a number of top talents from the black-and-gold brand. This has reportedly led to some backstage tension between him and Triple H, as the latter doesn’t want his project to be raided as he still has plans for some of the performers in question.
As The Inquisitr report highlighted, Chelsea Green is rumored to make her long-awaited Raw or SmackDown debut in the coming days. She’s supposedly been biding her time for months.
More developmental talents are expected to follow, especially considering that the majority of the Retribution faction is believed to be comprised of rising stars.