I’ve been watching a whole lot more NXT these days, mainly because I am currently reviewing the show every week but also because I have always enjoyed seeing the up-and-coming talent the brand has to offer.
One of my favorite parts of being a fan of pro wrestling is watching a talent make their way up the card from dark match to main event. Right now the NXT roster is deep, and there are several major players that I believe are ready to take the next step. Let’s take a look at who’s got next.
This one is too easy. By all accounts, it seems a main roster call up is imminent, especially after Young Steiner called out Seth Rollins last week.
Bron is the prototypical larger than life WWE superstar. A second-generation genetic jackhammer, Breakker has all of the tools required to succeed at the next level. He has the physical physique of a demigod and nearly the strength as well. The old school promo style suits him well and will easily translate to the main roster. He has also had some very good matches and seems to deliver on the biggest stages.
I fully expect Bron Breakker to be joining the main roster in the coming weeks.
In my opinion, Carmelo Hayes is the most well-rounded talent in all of NXT. Hayes looks like a star, sounds like a star and acts like a star. He has all of the intangibles and charisma it requires to become the next big thing in pro wrestling.
Hayes is a phenomenal in ring performer. I would put his selling up against anyone currently working the main roster. I can see him working with just about anyone and would expect nothing less than 15 minutes of solid storytelling.
Carmelo is the total package, and everything you want in a potential superstar. He is one of the smoothest acts in the game today and with sound and logical booking behind him, he could quickly become a fan favorite.
Every time I see Dijak come through the curtain I think to myself “how is this guy not wrestling on Monday’s or Friday’s? Dijak is an absolute enigma. Nobody this size should be able to move around the ring the way we see this Phenom move on a nightly basis. His matches against Keith Lee were legendary, and as stated earlier, his most recent match with Ilja Dragunov was one of the best of the year. This ability to work various styles bodes well for a main roster run.
Dijak may not be a master of the mic, but he is well adept to carry himself through a backstage segment or in ring promo. He certainly doesn’t need to say anything. He can let his physical appearance and overwhelming presence do the all of the talking.
Dijak deserves another go at the big show, and this time let’s just skip the ridiculous masks and Molotov cocktails.
Ilja Dragunov is a stellar talent with unlimited potential. If you have yet to see his match with Dijak at Battleground 23, I suggest it be the next match you see. It is an absolute masterclass of violence in storytelling, and Dragunov puts on the performance of a lifetime.
As great of an in-ring performer as he is, Dragunov might be an even more gifted orator. He is well rehearsed and confident whenever he has a mic in his hand. He clearly takes the entirety of his craft seriously, and puts in all of the work required to continuously improve.
I would love to see Ilja called up and join Imperium. I mean, that’s a no brainer, right?
I think the only reason we haven’t seen Joe Gacy on the main roster yet is that he is such a similar character to some of what we have seen from Bray Wyatt. That’s a shame, because Gacy is very good, and I would argue, a much better in ring performer than Bray has proven to be.
Gacy’s matches are typically well paced with some good heat sprinkled throughout. He tends to work that old school, WWE style but with a modern touch. I’m sure he could have a decent match with just about anyone he could potentially face on the main roster.
As far as character work and promo ability, Gacy’s abilities are second to none and he would make an immediate impact on the main roster in that regard. He can be absolutely captivating if presented in the right way.
I think if you paired him up with Bray in a master/apprentice type of situation, it could make for some intriguing television.
Personally, I would love to see something like that. Bray could use the refresh.
Diamond Mine (Brutus and Julius Reed with Ivy Nile)
Raw and SmackDown are both in desperate need of tag team talent and the Creed brothers would be a welcome addition. If you haven’t seen these guys work yet, do yourself a favor and check them out. They remind me of the golden years of tag team wrestling when teams like The Steiners and The Road Warriors reigned supreme.
Both Creed Brothers are capable of incredible feats of strength and often accomplish these in the most entertaining of ways. They are more than capable of carrying a backstage segment or cutting a solid in ring promo, and are naturally charismatic individuals. Ivy Nile would also be a great addition to the women’s roster. They wouldn’t have to use her right away in that capacity, but she could get the job done, no question.
I could see the Creed Brothers hitting the main roster in the very near future. The men’s tag division could really use some fresh blood to make way for new matchups and rivalries.
Easily the most main roster ready female on the NXT roster is none other than its current Women’s Champion, Tiffany Stratton. It didn’t take long for Stratton to make her presence felt in the NXT women’s division. She came in and immediately showed that she was a promising talent with a bright future.
Tiffany has improved dramatically in-ring over the past few months, and continues to get better with every match. A naturally gifted athlete, Stratton is more than capable of putting together a show stealing performance on the card. She is very comfortable playing the role she is currently cast in and it’s working well for her.
Although I could see them keeping the strap on Tiffany Stratton for an extended period of time, I also wouldn’t be surprised if she got the call sooner rather than later.