NXT is the future of WWE and the wrestlers who will lead the company one day will come from this developmental territory. Looking at the roster, names like Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe, Asuka, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch all came from WWE NXT.
Look to the past and names like Randy Orton, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Batista all came from Ohio Valley, which was the NXT of its day for the WWE. With that in mind, look at the WWE NXT roster today and there are future champions — men and women — competing there that will be working main events on the main roster sooner rather than later.
10 TOMMASO CIAMPA
The best heel in WWE NXT, and maybe the best heel in WWE today, is Tommaso Ciampa. He did the unthinkable when he developed from a cult favorite into someone everyone loved to boo every time he opened his mouth. He turned on the biggest babyface in NXT and then developed a heel persona that rivals men like Roddy Piper and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
Now, there is a worry here that, like those two heels, Ciampa may go his entire career without winning a world title because he could be the heel that exists to make babyfaces lives hell. However, he has proven to know how to carry himself as a heel champion and deserves every opportunity to do that on the main roster.
9 ADAM COLE
Adam Cole was the Ring of Honor world champion and when he came to WWE NXT, he was made the leader of the heel faction The Undisputed Era. He has yet to win the NXT title but he was the first NXT North American Champion and has done everything he can to elevate his faction to the highest level possible.
The Undisputed Era is this era's version of The Four Horsemen and Adam Cole is the Ric Flair of that group. When they make their debut on the main roster, they should run rampant and it is Adam Cole who will one day be a world champion with a persona similar to a young Shawn Michaels.
8 SHAYNA BASZLER
Ronda Rousey is discovering the joy of being a heel on the main roster right now and she is doing it by poking fans with a stick. However, her Four Horsewomen cohort Shayna Baszler proved in NXT how to be the perfect heel champion. Forget Ronda Rousey, Baszler is the star of this group in the world of WWE.
She is a bully and she is everything that Nia Jax dreams that she could ever be. Baszler will make it to the main roster someday soon and she will dominate there. Baszler will be a dominant force in WWE for many, many years.
7 KAIRI SANE
Every heel champion needs a plucky babyface to battle and in NXT, Kairi Sane has proven to be the ultimate babyface. Honestly, she might be the best pure babyface the company has seen since Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. There is just something pure about her that Bayley doesn't even possess.
There is some concern about her size and her bubbly personality when she reaches the main roster. Vince McMahon has proven to like gimmicks better than wrestlers and he could destroy Sane for mainstream fans. However, she won NXT Superstar of the Year for 2018, over every man and woman, and she should be a champion on the main roster in the future.
Ricochet is already sitting in WWE, with one foot in both the main roster and NXT. He was on the last WWE PPV and challenged for the Raw tag team titles. However, the former NXT North American champion is much more than a tag team wrestler. He has the look and charisma of The Rock and skills and abilities of an AJ Styles.
If Ricochet never wins a world title, WWE will have failed miserably. He is a star in the making and should be the next AJ Styles/Eddie Guerrero hybrid in the company. This guy will make every fan in the arena believe that a man can fly.
5 JOHNNY GARGANO
Johnny Gargano was the best pure babyface in WWE NXT for years and proved it time and time again. He then proved that he could be so much more than just a babyface when he went through a schizophrenic storyline over the last half year. The guy is also one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the sport.
Johnny Gargano should be the next Daniel Bryan on the main roster and someone that all the fans can get behind. His story should be one like Shawn Michaels living the boyhood dream, or Daniel Bryan overcoming all odds. Gargano is that man and he will be a world champion one day in the future.
4 MATT RIDDLE
The only thing holding back Matt Riddle is Matt Riddle. The guy was a legit star in UFC and is one of the best pure fighters the sport had ever seen. Then they fired him because he wouldn't stop smoking pot. He is now in WWE NXT and he needs to make sure he keeps his nose clean because he can be a star.
Riddle has the fans wrapped around his little finger and his attitude and personality is something that sucks in everyone. He has a lackadaisical personality but a hard work ethic that should work well on the main roster and he is a big enough name that not even Mr. McMahon would stick him with a goofy gimmick. He is a star and will shine brightly on the main roster.
3 PETE DUNNE
When Pete Dunne first showed up in WWE NXT UK, he surprised a lot of people. He is a grappler and is very similar to someone like Dean Malenko. However, unlike Malenko, Dunne has a personality that makes him a star. There is nothing bland about Dunne who has an attitude that lets anyone know that he has no problem punching them in the face or breaking their fingers.
He is not someone who could come to WWE Monday Night Raw and become their world champion. However, once SmackDown Live moves to Fox and they push for more realistic wrestling action, Dunne has the attitude and talent to thrive there and could easily be in line for that world title. He is already the longest reigning current champion in WWE today.
2 ALEISTER BLACK
Aleister Black, like Ricochet, is already on the main roster, although due to the taping schedule, he is still in NXT as well. As with Ricochet, he already made his PPV debut when he challenged for the Raw tag team titles, and like Ricochet, he is destined for a much larger role. The one problem with Black is that he is similar to Drew McIntyre but there is room for more than one big bruiser in the title hunt.
Honestly, thinking of McIntrye and Black battling for the world title on Monday Night Raw is a very fun dream match. Black is going to be a star on Raw and he has everything that McMahon looks for in a wrestler. Expect big things for the metal-loving brawler.
1 RHEA RIPLEY
She may not get the attention of someone like Shayna Baszler or Kairi Sane, but Rhea Ripley is not someone to sleep on. She was the first ever WWE NXT UK Women's Champion, and while she has already lost the title, it looks like she is heading to NXT next and then the sky is the limit.
Ripley has a ton of talent and is loaded with charisma. She will be a huge star when she comes up to the main roster and should be a contender no matter where she lands. While there are already a lot of women lining up for their chance at the world title, Ripley has as much a chance of anyone of holding it one day.