WWE NXT in 2023: Breakout stars of the future

Over the past few months, NXT has been getting a lot of love from fans. On August 24, 2023, I wrote an article about why everyone should watch NXT. WWE has been working closer with NXT and using main roster talent more frequently on NXT programming. Integrating the main roster talent has increased NXT’s viewership and allowed more people to see what the developmental stars can do. Even without the integration of main roster wrestlers, NXT is developing breakout stars at a high rate. The stars forming in NXT are not just male singles competitors but also tag teams and especially the women’s roster. 

NXT Breakout Men Stars

The men’s roster of NXT includes breakout stars, Carmelo Hayes, Ilja Dragunov, Wes Lee, Trick Williams, and Bron Breakker. NXT does a great job of developing talent from scratch and polishing talent that may come from outside the company. NXT has built someone like Bron Breakker up to become the star he is today. Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov are stars who wrestled elsewhere and honed their skills in NXT. There is a long track record of stars who either began their career in NXT or finely tuned their skills and abilities in NXT. Seth Rollins was the first NXT champion, Roman Reigns trained to wrestle through the Performance Center, and Big E started in FCW and became an NXT champion when FCW rebranded to NXT.

During the past year, NXT has focused more on growing homegrown talent. Von Wagner has been a standout during his recent babyface run. Baron Corbin, an NXT homegrown, has found new life during his time in NXT in the last few months. Though Oba Femi has only had one outing in NXT, he is a superstar to watch for in the future. But it is not just NXT-made talent that is benefiting from NXT. Dragon Lee came from multiple promotions and he has amazed the audience. Dragon Lee has also made appearances on the main roster recently. Another name is Wes Lee. Before joining NXT, wrestling buffs knew Wes Lee for his tag team prowess. Now fans know Wes Lee as one of the greatest North American Champions in NXT history.

NXT Breakout Tag Teams

NXT has always had a history of developing tag-team wrestlers. The tag team division in NXT has always seen success, whether through bringing in teams from outside the company or forming them within NXT. Tag teams such as DIY (Gargano and Ciampa), Vikings Raiders (Erik and Ivar), The Street Profits (Dawkins and Ford), and American Alpha (Gable and Jordan) are examples of how well the tag division in NXT is. The tradition has continued since the old Black and Gold era. 

At No Mercy of 2023, a four-way tag match took place with the tag titles on the line. In that match, fans saw The Family (D’Angelo and Stacks) retain their titles against The Creed Brothers (Julius and Brutus), Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo, and OTM (Nima and Price). In this match, there are veterans, stars on the rise for the main roster, stars who are being primed as top wrestlers in NXT, and rookies in wrestling. All four teams have been working hard on their in-ring abilities and working to build their characters. Even though Nima and Price are new, there is potential for them to be a great “big man” tag team.

Other notable breakout tag teams in the division are Gallus (Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey, and Wolfgang), Edris and Enofe, Chase U (Andre Chase and Duke Hudson), Briggs and Jensen, Hank and Tank, and Gulak and Dempsey. There is a plethora of up-and-coming tag teams on the NXT roster. This is also the case with female tag teams such as Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez, Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail, and The Meta-4 (Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson). With the speculation of The Dusty Classic returning, the audience can assume that new teams may form to compete in the tournament. Tag team wrestling is in excellent hands right now in NXT. 

NXT Breakout Women Stars

NXT has done a fantastic job of developing its women’s roster. Even before this new crop of talent, NXT produced Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Alexa Bliss from scratch. NXT brought wrestlers from other companies and independent promotions, including Rhea Ripley, Asuka, Iyo Sky, Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Candice LeRae. Keeping with tradition, NXT has been on a roll with growing the women on the roster. The introduction of the Next In Line program in NXT has opened more doors for finding talent to form wrestlers into WWE talents. Outside of the NIL program, NXT has held tryouts in which athletes from other sports have competed to become NXT wrestlers. 

NXT still brings talent from other wrestling promotions like Blair Davenport, Roxanne Perez, Gigi Dolin, and Jacy Jayne. Having these wrestlers on the roster benefits both rookies and more experienced wrestlers. Currently, NXT is running the annual Breakout Tournament with Kelani Jordan, Izzi Dame, Lola Vice, Dani Palmer, Arianna Grace, Jakara Jackson, Karmen Petrovic, and Jaida Parker. These women are fresh talents who recently became members of the NXT roster. Last year’s Breakout Star was Roxanne Perez and she went on to become NXT Women’s Champion. Many more women on the roster are standouts in the ring and character-wise, like Ivy Nile, Cora Jade, Kiana James, and Lyra Valkyria, to name a few. 


NXT is in a massive resurgence period. More and more fans are following the action week-to-week in NXT and the talent can shine. While it may not show immediate results, focusing on younger wrestlers will lead to future success with NXT. Every week, NXT is consistently the best wrestling product on television. Aside from the diversity of the wrestlers, fans also can see these stars blossom and grow. Every match on NXT feels special for one reason or another. Now is the time to hop on the NXT bandwagon and support these rising stars because, in a few years, you will say “I remember when they first started wrestling, now they are main-eventing WrestleMania.”