It’s an exciting time to be an NXT fan, already boasting incredible talent such as Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn wasn’t the best the fans were going to get but an influx of top independent stars has proven that NXT still means business.
KENTA, Kevin Steen and Fergal Devitt are three of the finest talents in the wrestling industry and when you throw them into a roster which already boasts some of the finest talent in the industry, you know they are primed for success if they are booked correctly.
It’s at NXT where they’ll get to grips with the WWE style of competing, working on their charisma, their microphone work, interview skills and in general; turning them into superstars that can handle the pressure of being on the main roster and carrying the WWE into the future.
To get to that stage they have to ensure they remain successful on NXT, which certain main roster superstars have done when they were a part of NXT themselves.
Here’s who I think are the five best main roster talents to have come through the NXT ranks.
5: Bad News Barrett
Wade Barrett was the winner of the very first season of NXT but it was nothing like today’s NXT. It was a competition format where the rookies are mentored by some of the main roster talent in the hope of winning the competition and earning a WWE contract.
Barrett won the competition with Chris Jericho as his pro and his debut on the main roster is unforgettable. The Nexus destroying everything and anything standing in their way.
Barrett was a world title contender at one stage before falling down the ranks and out of favour but has seen his popularity rocket through the roof with his ‘Bad News’ gimmick, and the Preston-born superstar has become a four time Intercontinental Champion thanks to his wrestling ability and the fact he just oozes charisma.
4: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt has been a revelation on the main roster and is one of the few superstars who found incredible success after suffering through a bad gimmick which failed. In this case Wyatt started off in NXT as Husky Harris and did crack the main roster where he competed in The New Nexus with CM Punk guiding him.
He didn’t see great success on the main roster and was sent back to developmental, repackaged and told Vince McMahon he would be back and he couldn’t have been more right. Brilliant on the microphone, charisma, great inside the ring and the ability to engage every single person inside the arena is no small feat; he deserves all the success he is getting.
- Kevin Steen and Finn Balor set for October NXT debuts
- WWE: Your guide to NXT
- How NXT has successfully taken over WWE
3: The Shield
This is probably cheating by including all three members of The Shield but the point still stands, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are three of the best superstars to have come through the NXT ranks.
Rollins and Ambrose were already massive names on the independent scene as Tyler Black and Jon Moxley so reactions would have been there regardless. Reigns was the risk and it was a great decision to put him in a team with Rollins and Ambrose.
Reigns does owe most of his success to Ambrose and Rollins who excelled in perhaps every department but week by week Reigns has grown to become one of the top superstars in the WWE.
Dean Ambrose right now is probably the best face in the company today whilst Seth Rollins is one of the best heels and looks like he will become World Champion before his former stable mates, great success for all three men since their explosive debut.
2: AJ Lee
I believe current WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee is the second best talent to come through the NXT ranks. We are all appreciating her greatness right now but go and watch AJ Lee in action during her time in the third season of NXT with Primo as her mentor. She went on to team with former WWE diva Kaitlyn and there was no way fans would have thought she’d be the diva she is today.
She’s the saving grace of the divas division right now, if she does go then the WWE will be in serious trouble as Paige just cannot carry the division alone right now. She is unique, she can switch up her styles from serious to just plain crazy.
She is fantastic on the microphone, she has a good look about her and not the typical eye-candy the WWE look for, the fans love her whether she is a heel or a face and quite simply, she can wrestle.
1: Daniel Bryan
Was there really going to be anyone else at the top of the list? To make the journey from the independent scene to NXT, to one night on the main roster before being released and brought back into the company at SummerSlam have all led to Daniel Bryan having his WrestleMania moment by eventually becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It’s almost like a fairy tale story for Daniel Bryan, against all odds he became the number one man in the company and again; if you go back to NXT season one and you realise that The Miz was his mentor, would you ever think – as fantastic as Bryan was in the indies – could he have ever become the WWE Champion? Definitely not. It’s a shame he is injured now but it’s safe to say Bryan is the greatest superstar to have come through NXT.
WWE fans – what do you think? Agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know your top five in the comments section below.