With the creation of its developmental system NXT and its European sister show NXT UK, WWE has never had a larger, more talented roster. In recent years, we’ve seen several NXT stars move up to Raw and SmackDown and have great success. We have to assume the same will be true for the superstars of NXT UK.
Of course, we’ve also seen some wrestlers struggle to find the same level of stardom and popularity once they get to the main roster. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that not everyone can be the next WWE Champion. Some fantastic wrestlers just wouldn't have a shot. With that in mind, here are five NXT UK superstars we think could be successful on the main roster and five who probably couldn’t.
The Irish Ace Jordan Devlin is an arrogant young superstar with endless potential. So far, every time he’s gotten in the ring, he’s backed it up with memorable performances. His matches against Travis Banks and Finn Balor had fans noticing him as one of the brand’s best wrestlers.
He’s the kind of athlete that could have a career similar to that of Ricochet or Ali. If he continues to develop his cocky star character, he will be a lot of fun to watch in the coming years.
The cocky superstar with a powerful enforcer isn’t a new story, so we weren’t surprised to see it used in NXT UK by Jinny. The problem with this storyline comes when the enforcer is more interesting than the boss. This is the case with Jinny and her partner, Jazzy Gabert.
Though she’s talented, Jinny has yet to really stand out from the crowd of women she competes against. Since being paired with Gabert, she’s gotten more TV time, but fans are much more captivated by Jazzy, which isn’t a great indicator of main roster success.
Whether it’s with Trent Seven in Mustache Mountain or on his own as the inaugural United Kingdom Champion, Tyler Bate has never had a bad match. Every time he’s in the ring, it turns into an instant classic. Coupled with his old-school, gentlemanly charm, the young wrestler has nowhere to go but up.
His in-ring style reminds us of Daniel Bryan and Cesaro. He’s the kind of athlete fans never get tired of rooting for, and love watching. Given the right opponents and opportunities, we see a very bright future for this powerhouse.
We really like Toni Storm. Her performances in the Mae Young Classic and NXT UK women’s championship (the latter of which she won) were amazing. She has everything that usually leads to a career full of multiple title reigns. She’s tough and gorgeous, with an underdog quality.
However, the one place she needs work is in mic skills and character. Just being a really talented, likeable superstar gets boring very fast, so unless she finds an interesting angle, we don’t know how she will separate herself from the pack.
There’s nothing Vince McMahon loves more than a big man with personality and a catchy theme song. Walter made an immediate impact when he showed up in NXT UK, ending Pete Dunne’s record-breaking championship reign and establishing Imperium as the brand’s most dangerous stable.
Unlike other big men, he has a wide range of moves in the ring and can have a good match with anyone. He will need to add some more dimensions to his character, but with the right manager or team, he could be a dominating force that fans would love to boo.
Fans love a big man who can intimidate opponents with amazing strength. Unfortunately, in the wrestling world, they’re not that rare. Superstars who fall into this category, like Mark Henry or Vader, they need that special something to captivate audiences.
So far, it doesn’t feel like Dave Mastiff has developed that special quality. He may still show us something new, but until that happens, we’re not sure his ceiling is very high. He’s likely to get lost in the crowd, with Heavy Machinery, the Viking Raiders and Braun Strowman on the main roster.
For 685 days, Pete Dunne held the United Kingdom championship against some of the top superstars in the business. Following a record breaking performance like that, we’re hoping his momentum continues to carry him to success on Raw or SmackDown.
His “Bruiserweight” style of hard hits and joint manipulation combined with high impact moves means he can go toe-to-toe with anyone in any match. We honestly can’t wait to see him in the ring with Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan.
Consisting of Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey and Wolfgang, Gallus is a formidable stable. They can use brute force to dominate pretty much anyone they want. Joe looked great in his championship match against Pete Dunne, while various pairings of the three have consistently been in the tag team title picture.
As much as we’d love to see them bring their no-nonsense style to the main roster, unfortunately, we’ve seen this story before with Sanity, The Ascension and possibly the Viking Raiders. For the best showcase and success, they should remain in NXT UK or NXT.
One of the best things to come out of the women’s evolution is the idea that female superstars can be just as mean and tough as the men. When Rhea Ripley walks into the ring, she’s not trying to impress fans, she just wants to hurt her opponent and win.
She recently started a rivalry with NXT women’s champion Shayna Baszler, but we know she’ll be on the main roster very soon, challenging Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Alexa Bliss. She’s the shake up the women’s division needs, as the universe clamors for more unique pairings and hard-hitting matches on the card.
WWE has been trying to make Kassius Ohno interesting for quite some time now, and it still hasn’t happened yet. He didn’t have the same popularity as Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black or Tommaso Ciampa, eventually heading to NXT UK.
Frankly, we don’t know if we see him being anything more than a McMahon enforcer on the main roster. No matter what he and the creative team try, it seems like the fans have made up their minds about him and they won’t be changing them.