After the shocking call-up of most of the current main event scene on NXT to WWE Raw, what’s next for the company’s hottest brand?
I’ll admit, there’s not many moments in WWE these days that actually shock me. WWE Raw, without any hint of a warning, provided one of those moments though when Triple H announced the main roster call-ups of 4 of the biggest stars from NXT.
While the recently promoted NXT class from just a few months ago still bounce between brands, Aleister Black, Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano all became members of Raw without any prior warning or signaling from WWE.
All of a sudden, NXT’s stacked main event scene got quite a bit lighter.
Initially, that places a level of fear for not just the future of all of those call-ups, but for the future of WWE’s most consistently entertaining brand as well. NXT appears like its going to undergo a whirlwind of changes in the next few months that could determine the ultimate direction of the brand for the foreseeable future.
For starters, two of the brand’s champions, including the NXT Champion himself, now appear ready to transition away from the brand.
Without even considering the fact that the fate of those titles will likely have to be decided quickly, the void that will be left by Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa is perhaps the biggest left by any two superstars in NXT’s history.
Gargano and Ciampa’s storyline has reverberated throughout the brand for the entirety of 2018. It’s been a storyline that, despite it’s length and exceptional quality, is still far from over.
With the reunion of DIY, Ciampa and Gargano are still very much intertwined with one another. While Gargano seemingly has embraced his dark side, based on the glares he occasionally shoots at Ciampa’s NXT title, it’s probably safe to say he hasn’t forgotten the hell Ciampa put him through.
In other words, their rivalry could very well be far from over.
However, that NXT Championship that has been the linchpin for their entire feud thus far is obviously linked solely to the brand it’s named after. That begs the question as to how WWE will choose to handle this evolving and consistently entertaining angle given that there’s still so much story left unwritten for the two in NXT alone.
Johnny Wrestling and Tommy Entertainment aren’t the only call-ups still in the midst of developing angles though.
Ricochet is coming off a huge win against Adam Cole, one that seemingly may have been key to obtaining another championship opportunity. Then, after the match, the entire Undisputed Era began beating down Ricochet to avenge their leader’s loss. Aleister Black, the last of the recent call-ups to be discussed, subsequently hit the ring to save Ricochet, only to meet a similar fate.
That means that not only has Ricochet seemingly positioned himself for a NXT or North American title opportunity, but he and Black also have a beef with Undisputed Era to settle.
With so many angles like those left unfinished for the recent call-ups in NXT, it’s incredibly hard to see where WWE plans on taking both it’s flagship show and it’s most hottest brand.
The initial talent void left in NXT by the new call-ups can clearly be filled by any number of extraordinary competitors. Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Dominik Dijakovic, and more will now have to quickly fill those big shoes that were left behind, a task they will likely be more than game for.
What they can’t fill in short order, however, is the leftover storylines that exist on the brand.
The way WWE negotiates its way through building those new stars to carry NXT’s future, while also doing the preexisting angles fans have invested so much time and emotions in justice, will be one of the biggest balancing acts the company has been faced with in recent memory.
That’s still without even considering the need to build new feuds for these 4 call-ups, along with the still largely directionless first set of NXT promotions. Altogether, the sheer number of strings left untied now almost makes this balancing act seem impossible for WWE.
Hopefully, for the sake of both NXT and Raw, WWE is able to find a way to successfully execute one of it’s biggest roster changes in recent memory without forgetting any of the aspects that have made these new call-ups so exciting and intriguing.