Unless you've been away for quite some time, you will know that on July 19, on the first live SmackDown broadcast, there will be a draft to select the new exclusive rosters for RAW and SmackDown.
Common sense suggests that the current NXT roster will endure several main roster call-ups on, or before, that night.
Rumours, that it may be sooner rather than later have been heightened by the appearance of several NXT stars at WWE house shows.
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So how many are expected to go? There is much speculation and few hard facts, but it seems the numbers could be as high as 10 or 12.
Most often tipped to be called up are American Alpha, Finn Balor, Bayley, and Nia Jax. Other names being thrown around include Austin Aries and Carmella. Carmella would surprise me as she's very much looking like being groomed for a run at the NXT women's title, but these are uncertain times.
Even if all those names are correct, that's seven of, possibly as many as, twelve. Tye Dillinger would be one call up I'd make.
He's clearly appreciated as he was chosen to work with the returning Seth Rollins, when Rollins was doing his performance centre testing. And if you take American Alpha, you must surely take the Revival once they drop the titles. Equally, Samoa Joe must be
Equally, Samoa Joe must be main roster bound once his title reign is over, and Shinsuke Nakamura can't be far behind.
That's quite a list to lose. Even if some of the names are incorrect and the talent pillage is not as bad as expected, NXT is still losing some of its very biggest stars.
And that's ok. It's ok because, while Triple H has made the distinction that NXT is no longer a developmental program, but a brand in its own right, NXT is still the main focus for bringing in new talent. Losing its top stars is essentially the purpose of the brand.
Ok, it's not usual for so many to go at one time, but NXT has seen some high profile signings recently, including; Bobby Roode, Eric Young, NXT Women's Champion Asuka, Andrade Cien Almas, and the aforementioned Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura.
This trend is set to continue, there's a lot of really big pro wrestling talent out there and, if you believe even half the rumours, several big names are in talks to come to NXT. Triple H said after Takeover The End there was a new signing to the women's division who would change everything.
But that's not all NXT has going for it. One of the things NXT does better than the main roster is developing its characters, both in and out of the ring.
Promo segments are never wasted in NXT, character development and feud development always takes place, and fast. Similarly, the shorter matches utilising newer talent, which on the main roster may be termed squash matches, are always to showcase the character and skill of both participants. Turning pro wrestlers into WWE superstars is what NXT does.
And that's really the bottom line. No-one outside of WWE knows how long this brand split has been in the plans, but it's likely to have been a while. In NXT WWE have themselves their very own feeder system. With the combination of top indie talent there to learn the WWE way, and new home-grown talent being honed at the performance centre, NXT is perfectly placed to recover quickly from any talent depletion caused by the draft.
In NXT, WWE have themselves their very own feeder system. With the combination of top indie talent there to learn the WWE way, and new home-grown talent being honed at the performance centre, NXT is perfectly placed to recover quickly from any talent depletion caused by the draft.
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