Craig Wilson, Brian Damage & Jamie Lithgow
This year NXT will have a show taking place over the Wrestlemania weekend and comes as its announced that it is also being taken on the road. In this Sunday Sermon the team discuss whether NXT superstars should be on the cad at Wrestlemania 31.
Craig: Interesting topic this one. Particularly topical as the NXT show that’s taking place over Wrestlemania weekend just sold out.
But should performers from NXT be featured on the actual Wrestlemania card? I think yes.
I love the idea of giving superstars the chance to make a name for themselves on the biggest stage that the WWE has to offer. And I don’t see why it couldn’t be a NXT guy, or gal, doing it.
Whilst I think that two multi-man matches is already one two many. If we are to have two I’d rather a nxt match than another Andre the Giant battle royal for example or have the IC title match a one on one.
I’d love to see Finn Balor, Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens light it up in a four way match at Mania. What better way to highlight the company’s future than showcasing it at Wrestlemania?
Brian: I agree that NXT seems to be the hotter brand…at least with hardcore wrestling fans. Is that enough to warrant a spot on the Wrestlemania card for an NXT match…I don’t know. Regardless of it appearance and popularity, NXT is still considered the minor leagues to the WWE. At least in Vince McMahon’s eyes anyway. Wrestlemania is one of those special once in a lifetime events that almost every wrestler dreams of being a part of. If you give the NXT guys that moment to shine now….what incentive would they have to make it to the main roster?
Craig: I’d imagine the buzz from the crowd would be enough to make them work even harder to move on from the small venues NXT is recorded to the huge stadiums that host Wrestlemania.
If I was going to Wrestlemania this year, I’d imagine it would be the shows in and around the city on the weekend of mania that would excite me as much as anything, wrestling wise. Wrestlemania is obviously the spectacle but if the NXT specials have taught us anything it is that the best in-ring stuff is generally found on NXT.
Also, NXT matches regularly occur on house show runs to the extent that it’s now touring on its own. There’s a significant fanbase there. Worse case scenario, have some NXT guys work the pre-show match. Bit of exposure, no?
Brian: While there are certain benefits to having an NXT match at Mania….the downfall is what would be the sense of a “developmental” system if they could already steal the show at Wrestlemania. Bigger venues…sure…more exposure…definitely…but I just don’t think McMahon wants that from NXT. One thing that may work in the future is have something like a ladder match on the pre show where a WWE contract is up for grabs. The winner then is allowed to move up to the main roster.
Jamie: That suggestion I like. Here’s a bunch of ‘nobodies’ and they are fighting for the opportunity to become a ‘somebody’. That’s perfect pre-show material which would allow for a natural progression up the WWE ladder. One year they earn a contract on the pre-show, next year they get booked on the main show, the next year they compete for a title and so on. With the right person, that could be a killer angle.
However, in general terms I am slightly conflicted about booking NXT guys at Mania. As a fan of NXT I think it would be awesome to see these guys given such an opportunity. But as Brian said, if developmental guys are getting booked at Wrestleania then surely they aren’t developmental guys? I’m all for dark matches and certainly performing at Axxess, but I just feel that wrestlers need to climb the ladder to get booked in a televised match at Wrestlemania.
Brian: I like that thinking Jamie…it is certainly better than anything they plan on doing with a guy like Adrian Neville on the main roster. The last I read, the WWE wanted to give him some sort of Mighty Mouse gimmick…whatever the hell that is?!? Having him win a WWE contract and give him a slow build would allow fans to grow WITH him…not against him.
Craig: I’m in agreement too, that really would be an excellent way to launch a career of someone from the NXT roster. It’s a very different way to get someone on to the main roster and, like Jamie said, it would be a killer angle if booked right.
Another option, of course, could be WWE divas vs NXT divas in a big tag match. Play on the rumoured heat that the WWE divas have over the lack of time they get on shows. Problem there, though, is that the match would probably be given five minutes before the Wretlemania main event!
Jamie: Yeah, of any type of match featuring NXT performers a Divas match would be top of my list. There is such a stark contrast between what is offered on the main roster to what is offered in NXT regarding women’s wrestling that the story for a tag match practically writes itself. There’s also more credence to claims the NXT ladies could make in regards to being better performers. You couldn’t really have a male NXT performer come out on Raw claiming to be better than main roster talent. At least with the women there is the Total Divas argument for who is and isn’t on the main roster.
All previous Sunday Sermons can be read here.