On an NXT: Takeover conference call, Triple H mentioned that there would be no call ups to the main roster without an actual plan. Was he lying or was he honestly hope for that?
The NXT brand has been a jewel in the internet fan base for some time. It’s had a great run of future Superstars coming through the door. Most of the current roster was fed through NXT and by taking then indy darlings, such as Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayne and later on Ricochet, the brand was taken seriously as the third brand and not just a developmental territory.
However, when some of the above mentioned and more made the jump to Raw or Smackdown, there just doesn’t seem a plan in place long term. Let’s look at the most recent “call up” Keith Lee.
Keith Lee over the past year has been treated like the star he is in NXT. He had great showings at Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble. He rightly won the North American Championship in January and was on a crest of wave.
Then, he won the NXT championship and held it for a criminally short time. He then gets “promoted” to the main roster. The music was changed, his ring gear was changed and outside of beating Randy Orton clean at Payback, he’s been punted in to the title feud and now rumours are he will be added to the WWE Championship match with Drew and Randy on Clash of Champions.
Doesn’t it just feel disjointed?
Lee is in a long line of stars who have been called up with apparently no direction. Aleister Black and Ricochet, who were getting good TV time, have had no meaningful feud until just recently with Kevin Owens and The Hurt Business respectively. But it’s been 7 months since they were called up.
This past Monday, we had the reveal of Retribution. A group made up of NXT talent. Where to start with this one? The masks? The ridiculous name changes? Or the fact that there appears to be no plan at all for them? Everything just feels off when a talent gets called up.
Whilst a lot of the talent have been able to get past the first few months, see Asuka for evidence of this, are NXT call ups now something most on the gold and black brand would try and avoid?
Tommaso Ciampa has been vocal about this. Now his reasons at the time was due to the travel schedule the main roster talent has, you could tell he just simply felt he would be mistreated by going up. He even went as far as saying he would retire and become a coach if he was forced to the main roster.
Finn Balor was eager to go back to NXT after his run. Although, I actually believe there was a plan in place for the prince but injury got in the way. However, when back from injury, he didn’t get the push many were either expecting or hoping for. With a rumoured draft on the way in October, there must be some worry on the NXT roster about going to Raw or Smackdown given the current booking situation.
This brings me back to Triple H and his comments. He might have meant them at the time but evidence suggests, that hope was all he could ask for.
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