Brian Damage, John Carbery and Benjamin Trecroci
Like most sites, we are more often than not full of praise for the NXT product. Whilst it is generally the best show from the WWE on the weekly basis and we have seen performers go from there to become huge stars on the main roster, it doesn’t mean there haven’t been mistakes along the way. In today’s Top Five we look at NXT graduates who have flopped on the main roster.
It’s really hard to call Crews a flop considering he was seemingly rushed up from NXT, but when the WWE signed him, there were certainly high expectations. Apollo Crews looks lost on the main roster…with no real gimmick to help him stand out. You can almost forget that Crews is on the Smackdown roster because he is barely used at all.
4. Bo Dallas
At first, it seemed that Bo was the one that was going to get the bigger push in his WWE career over his brother the future Bray Wyatt. Bo Dallas was pushed up the NXT ladder even winning the NXT heavyweight title. That success never translated on the main roster and Bo has been toiling in lower mid card hell ever since.
3. The Ascension
Konnor and Viktor looked to be easy candidates to become successful on the main roster as a monster tag team. They had a great run in NXT as their longest reigning tag team champions. Since their debut, however, the Ascension have been more enhancement talent than actual bad asses.
2. Tyler Breeze
Tyler had a great gimmick, great charisma and superior work ethic down in NXT. He consistently had some of the best matches in NXT history against the likes of Hideo Itami, Finn Balor and Jushin Liger. His main roster resume has not been as impressive. While I, as a fan, am actually enjoying the whole tag team of him and Fandango, Tyler Breeze could easily be a big singles star and not dressing in drag as Nikki Bella.
Before anybody thinks she made the list solely because of that scandal with the nude leak, that is not the case. Paige was the top female wrestler in NXT for some time even becoming the inaugural NXT women’s champion. Her main roster career, at first was skyrocketing winning the WWE Divas title in her debut match. She was the “Anti Diva” and had some great matches with AJ Lee.
The thing is, as her career was moving forward, she started losing that edge about her and was never able to quite maintain her superstar status. Injuries, wellness violations and some poor decisions have seemingly derailed what could have been a tremendous career as the face of the WWE’s women’s division. Is it too late for Paige to get back on track. She is still young enough and the talent is still there. The question is, will it ever be with the WWE again? I have my doubts.
5. The Ascension
I hadn’t seen these guys through their big run on NXT but they carried a lot of hype with them. I don’t know what happened really when they got to the main roster but they just shit the bed straight away and they’re very unlikely to ever get their momentum back.
4. The Vaudevillians
I honestly think this gimmick is too “indie” to get over with the broad WWE audience but they had a promising start before falling off a cliff. I hope Simon Gotch can be repackaged at some point as he has some genuine skill as a wrestler that I’d like to see him display on the main roster.
I honestly don’t know how WWE fucked this one up. Tyler had a great gimmick, a great entrance and can have really good matches to boot. From the way he was positioned on WWE TV its like they wanted him to fail from the jump. A wasted opportunity for both Breeze and the company.
I’d read in the pages of Power Slam magazine (RIP) that Emma was a hot prospect in NXT and had a gimmick that was very popular with the Florida crowd. Then she came shuffling onto my TV to that awful music you’d expect to hear in a drug dealers house at 4am with a goofy smile and a crappy arm dance thing. It was painful to watch her struggle on Raw week in week out.
1. Adam Rose
I didn’t see Rose or his alter ego Leo Kruger in NXT. I was assured though by a friend that the Adam Rose gimmick would take off on the main roster. This was after I’d told him that all the vignettes promoting Rose were the shits and I dreaded his debut. Well, he debuted and stunk up the place until his song and dance routine got old. Then he committed career suicide and the rest is history. No other choice for the number one flop in my opinion.
5. American Alpha
I know it’s probably early for this and, yes, they had a title run but really thought these guys were going to be the next huge tag-team. They get no kinda reaction probably because people don’t know much about them. They were unreal in NXT but could see them breaking up sooner than later.
It’s like they wanted to see the Rosebuds and hear the song for a couple week just for fun, but didn’t really want him to wrestle. He had a great story on the ESPN special about his family and fight to make his way to the main roster. Honestly, I can’t remember one match he had.
3. Bo Dallas
He’s Bray Wyatt’s brother and a former NXT champion. That’s all I need to say about him. Come on put him in The Wyatt Family at least!
2. Tyler Breeze
This guy had everything going for him: the looks, the gimmick, fan support and also was included in ESPN story. He was down in NXT forever then he finally comes up and boom started out great with a feud with Ziggler! He was paired up with Summer Rae as well and then for whatever reason (cough, cough Vince) he becomes a Hot Cop with Fandango. Then this last Smackdown he’s dressed as Nikki Bella…Can only imagine what they will do with him next. Transgender wrestler?
1. The Ascension
The dudes were insanely over in NXT, they were the longest reigning champs then they were brought in and immediately destroyed by JBL on commentary. While the segment with the nWo, APA, etc was pretty cool it was the end of the line for these guys. Might as well bring them back as the Surfer Dudes with Attitudes.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.