WWE NXT was mistakenly forgotten about when moving wrestlers around during the Superstar Shakeup and there’s more than enough talent for some interesting shifts.
The Superstar Shakeup occurred last week and there’s still ramifications being felt on both shows. With stars moving back and forth between the brands, there was also movement as some figures from NXT came up to the main roster. But if this is to be a true Superstar Shakeup that would keep all the fans and superstars guessing; one must wonder why the NXT brands were left out of the equation. WWE missed an opportunity to have some intriguing impact on the black and yellow brand by moving some characters from the main roster back to NXT.
The WWE is beyond the point where NXT should be considered “developmental.” The brand consistently puts on some of the best matches on WWE content week after week. Plus, the TakeOver series of PPVs has yet to be outdone by the quality of matches that occur on the main showcases each month. The men and women that are on NXT can hang with the top talent on the main roster and there’s no denying that statement.
However, there’s still some cache that NXT is missing as a brand when compared to both SmackDown and Raw. With the blue and red brands controlling the network cable space, NXT is left to build a cult following on the WWE Network. So far, that has worked to an extent, but much of that growth is done organically. NXT is rarely mentioned on the main roster and when it is, the comments are often a throwaway line that doesn’t build intrigue in the subject. While that allure isn’t easily transferrable, there is a way to help raise the attraction of NXT and the perception of its competitors: sending more well-known wrestlers to NXT for angles that build both the brand and its wrestlers.
There’s a laundry list of wrestlers on both Raw and SmackDown that are valuable contributors in the ring but struggle to find adequate ring time. Take Alexander Wolfe of the now defunct Sanity. The former NXT tag team champion was moved over to NXTUK after Eric Young was sent to Raw, while Killian Dane and Nikki Cross are still missing in action. Now, Wolfe is inserted into an intriguing storyline and given the opportunity to do something different at a time in which his career looked stagnant at best. That same opportunity can be provided to others who can offer the strength of their names to NXT to help some of the roster get over before their main roster debut.
Tyler Breeze, Luke Harper, Cesaro and others could make a move to NXT and get put in some interesting storylines with the likes of Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and others. Mickie James, a multiple-time women’s champion, did something similar when she returned to the WWE in 2016 to challenge then NXT women’s champion, Asuka. That mini-feud helped elevate Asuka and allowed James to gain some steam before heading back to the main roster alongside Alexa Bliss. Fans recognized her for her experience and success, which helped those around her on the NXT roster.
The Superstar Shakeup is a frequent occurrence each year in the WWE Universe. In recent years it has become much less exciting when compared to the days of the draft from more than a decade ago. One way to help infuse some intrigue into this moment in time would be to make NXT a destination for some men and women on the main roster. There’s plenty being misused on the main roster and everyone involved would benefit.