NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia has come and gone and for those of us who tuned in, it was every bit as incredible as we have come to expect it to be. Some fans may worry that a card with only five matches on it may leave you wanting more, but NXT TakeOvers never do. What happens immediately after a TakeOver, especially at this time of year, is speculation as to which of Full Sail's Superstars will be leaving developmental and joining Raw or SmackDown Live. There are a few stars we could see on the main roster very soon, and here are a few that we believe Vince McMahon would benefit from immensely if he were to pluck them from Triple H's clutches.
One act from NXT that has seemingly been destined for the main roster for a while now are the Authors of Pain. When first introduced to the NXT Universe, they felt like two lumbering, typical WWE guys that were going to hurt the good work being done by DIY and The Revival. That couldn't have been further from the truth. Yes, it took them a little time to get their sea legs under them, but once they did, they proved themselves to be a key asset to what is still a terrific tag division in NXT. Their time has come though. SAnitY and Undisputed Era are leading the way, add to that, the return of TM-61 and the signing of War Machine and all of that points to AOP not being needed anymore. A spot opposite the Bludgeon Brothers on SmackDown Live, however, is something we feel like we need.
When certain female stars started leaving NXT, especially Asuka, fans may have been worried how the division was going to go on. Those worries may have been compounded recently when five more women were called up to Raw and SmackDown Live. It turns out, we really had nothing to worry about as the women left behind, along with the new ones getting a push, are more than capable of holding down the fort. In fact, Raw and SmackDown Live could have maybe done with selecting some more experienced women for those call-ups. The Iconic Duo, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay, immediately spring to mind. The two of them are currently doing nothing in NXT and it feels as if the perfect place to debut them would be in the first-ever women's Royal Rumble. Get them out in front of the fans, then introduce them properly on Raw or SmackDown Live this coming week.
One of the key rivalries going into the NXT TakeOver that will take place in New Orleans the night before WrestleMania 34 will be Johnny Gargano versus Tomasso Ciampa. Psycho Killer returned on Saturday night to attack his already defeated best friend. Many fans may instantly shoot this down, but it may be worth seeing this rivalry continue on 205 Live. Not right away, possibly not until after WrestleMania, but it may be the exact kind of emotionally charged and potentially violent feud that the cruiserweight division needs. The trouble is, Johnny Wrestling proved without a shadow of a doubt on Saturday night that he is one of the best wrestlers in the world right now, and Ciampa is no slouch either, and placing them on 205 Live right now would feel like a waste.
WWE has an unfortunate history of jumping the gun when it comes to some prior NXT call-ups. The likes of Apollo Crews and Nia Jax could have done with a little more time at Full Sail. Then, there are others such as Elias and Alexa Bliss who needed that call up before they could shine. It's a very fine line, but that doesn't hide the fact that there are Superstars in NXT right now that don't need any more developing. Aleister Black is one that sticks out like a sore thumb. The Dutch Destroyer cleaned up in the NXT end of year awards, plus won an incredible extreme-rules match against Adam Cole. Another man who doesn't need to spend any more time in NXT is Drew McIntyre. His current injury could prove to be fortuitous for the Scot and the former NXT Champion could make his return to the main roster rather than returning to Full Sail. He has been there before, but this time he's ready.
While we may see a couple of the names above make their main roster bow sometime soon, this time of year Vince McMahon and co will normally be quite wary. Their road to WrestleMania will be meticulously planned out by this point and they won't want to rock the boat by adding new talent. One or two could arrive on Raw or SmackDown Live as early as next week, but most of them will likely have to wait until later in 2018.
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