NXT is the golden child of the WWE and, more specifically, Triple H. Many of the more hardcore fans of the product actually prefer NXT over the Raw and SmackDown, due to the nature of its more simplistic storytelling, more of a focus on pure wrestling, and a higher concentration on women's wrestling. Before the invention of the NXT that we know and love today, NXT was more of a Tough Enough-style WWE game show. There was a WWE developmental program in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), however, this wasn't getting the amount of exposure and attention that NXT is getting today.
The main goal of NXT is to develop wrestlers skills and to get the Superstars adapted to the WWE style, however, another purpose of it is to give fans exposure to these Superstars so that when they make their arrival on the main roster, they are almost stars already. While at the moment WWE are signing a lot of established stars such as Finn Balor (Prince Devitt) and Austin Aries, these wrestlers are more likely to be recognized by the more hardcore fans that watch NXT, so putting them into NXT allows the more causal fans to see what these stars are all about.
This list will see how much success these Superstars have had on the main roster of WWE since their call up. SPOILER ALERT: The Ascension will not be featured.
Note: Dean Ambrose will not be featured on this list, as technically he was never featured in NXT.
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15 Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods made his first appearance on the main WWE roster defeating Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre, teaming with R Truth, in what is fair to say was not the most inspiring main roster debut of all time. After that, he did struggle for a place for a period of time, until he struck upon a goldmine in The New Day. Xavier Woods has found the perfect role for himself in The New Day, as while he is very adequate wrestler, his true talent is talking and putting the team over and now he has established himself as the voice of The New Day.
14 Baron Corbin
While Baron Corbin has only been on the main roster since WrestleMania, he has done very well for himself. When he made his debut at WrestleMania it was impactful, as he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Since then he entered an interesting feud with Dolph Ziggler, who is the ideal opponent for Corbin, as he will bump like crazy for him. After Corbin inevitably goes over Ziggler, expect big things for Baron Corbin as he is exactly the wrestler that Vince McMahon loves to push.
13 Sami Zayn
Technically, Sami Zayn made his debut in May of 2015 in a losing effort against John Cena. However, during this match, he injured his shoulder and was put on the shelf. Since he has come back, he has been involved in one of the best storylines in recent history with Kevin Owens. His appearance in the Royal Rumble this year, where he eliminated Kevin Owens, was one of the better moments of the Rumble. Since then, he has feuded further with Owens, stealing the show at Payback. He has also been involved in the Intercontinental title picture. Expect much more to come from Sami Zayn.
When Kalisto made his main roster debut with Sin Cara as The Lucha Dragons, fans quickly took to his Lucha high-flying style. Since then, he and Sin Cara have challenged on multiple occasions for the Tag Team Championship but to no avail. He has had a decent singles run, which included winning the United States Championship from Alberto Del Rio. The only downside to Kalisto's title run so far is that a lot of his title matches have been on the pre-show of Pay Per Views, giving him less exposure to the fans.
'The man that gravity forgot.' Neville made his debut in March of 2015 defeating Curtis Axel. Neville has had some notable moments since his debut, such as answering Seth Rollin's open title challenge, teaming with Stephen Amell to defeat Stardust and King Barret and winning a Slammy Award for Breakout Superstar of the Year. What makes Neville so popular with fans is his incredible high-flying style and his breathtaking finisher. Although currently injured, when he makes his return, expect Neville to pop crowds once again.
10 Becky Lynch
The first of the three 'Horsewoman' on this list, Becky Lynch may be the least successful of the bunch, but that is nothing to be ashamed of, as she is still extremely talented and popular. Making her debut in July 2015 with Sasha Banks and Charlotte, she slowly entered a feud with the newly heel Divas Champion Charlotte which culminated with a showing stealing match at WrestleMania 32, in which she taped out. This has not put a dent in her popularity however, as the Irish 'Lass Kicker' is still a top Women's star and will be for many years to come.
9 The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family are a constant source of frustration for many WWE fans, with their continuous loses in any major feud they enter. This aside, it must be admitted that The Wyatt Family has been a success on the main roster, as they have been in many compelling feuds with the company's top stars such as John Cena, The Shield, and The Brothers of Destruction. Making their debut in an assault on Kane, after a series of vignettes, they made a serious, long lasting impact, even playing a part in the rise of Daniel Bryan. While Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper are currently injured, expect The Wyatt's to be a major force when they return.
8 Big E
Unlike his partner Xavier Woods, Big E had found relative success on the main WWE roster before forming The New Day. After making his debut on Raw to side with AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler, he then went on to hold the Intercontinental Championship for 167 days, in an impressive run. After floundering a little in the mid card, he formed The New Day with Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston, to massive success. It seems most likely that out of all the members of The New Day, Big E will have the most singles success when the group parts ways.
7 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks is undoubtedly the most popular member of the 'Divas Revolution'. It is not uncommon for fans to be heard chanting 'we want Sasha' during women's matches. While she has not yet held the Woman's Championship, there is a sense of inevitability about her defeating Charlotte for the belt, possibly at SummerSlam. After debuting with Charlotte and Becky Lynch, she aligned herself with Naomi and Tamina to form Team B.A.D, before overwhelming fan support turned her face and led her to be the MVP in the Triple Threat Divas Championship match at WrestleMania. Once she captures the championship, she should have a good feud with Bayley once she makes her long awaited main roster debut.
Now before I begin with Rusev, let's all agree to forget the terrible League of Nations run that could have been great, but was treated horribly.
Rusev made a very notable debut at the Royal Rumble 2014, in which it took four participants to eliminate him. Pairing with the 'Ravishing Russian' Lana, he went on a monster heel run, winning the United States Championship from Sheamus. He then managed to get one of the rarest things in WWE: a win over John Cena. After losing his title to John Cena at WrestleMania 31, he floundered a little but was recently found himself back in the U.S. Title picture, possibly meaning a renewed push for Rusev.
Paige is a record holder as the only woman to hold the NXT Championship and Divas Championship at the same time. Making her debut on Raw after WrestleMania XXX, she made history by defeating AJ Lee for her Divas Championship there and then. Following that, she has established herself as a top heel as well as a very good anti-diva. Paige often takes credit for putting the wheels into motion for the 'Divas Revolution' and at times it did feel like she was carrying the whole division. While Paige has gone on the record to say that she doesn't really know what Creative are doing with her, a recent win over Women's Champion Charlotte could suggest things are on the up for Paige.
There is no doubt with this one, Charlotte has been the most successful woman of the 'Divas Revolution.' After ending the Nikki Bella reign of terror at Night of Champions in 2015 she has held the championship ever since, including a successful defence in the Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 32, in which she performed an amazing Moonsault to the outside which just looks better everytime you see it. While the antics of Ric Flair have become a little irritating, it has helped establish her as the top heel in the Women's division. Once she does drop her father, her in ring talent will be enough to turn any feud into an entertaining one.
3 Kevin Owens
What can be said about Kevin Owens that hasn't already be said? This is the man who beat John Cena clean in his main roster debut, revived the Intercontinental Championship, and his feud with Sami Zayn has been one for the ages. He is currently the top male heel in the division (technically Roman Reigns doesn't count) and, as of writing, is the odds on favourite to win Money in the Bank briefcase this year, meaning he would shoot to the top of the company where many feel he belongs. With the ability to feud with anyone, even Michael Cole, the future is very bright for Kevin Owens.
2 Roman Reigns
Hear me out here guys.
Love him or hate him, Roman Reigns is very much THE GUY in WWE at the moment. The Royal Rumble 2015 winner and three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion is currently at the top of the WWE tree and does not look like he'll be moving any time soon. After winning his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series 2015, only to have it torn away from him by Sheamus, he eventually won the main event of WrestleMania 32 against Triple H. He debuted in the hugely popular group The Shield with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and was known as the powerhouse of the group and was clearly the guy that the company wanted to push. Whether Roman Reigns ever truly gets over with fans remains to be seen, but for the time being, get used to seeing a lot of Roman Reigns on your screen.
1 Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is the most successful NXT call-up in WWE history. In his words he is 'The Architect' of The Shield and was responsible for breaking up the group, implying that he was just waiting for better things after The Shield. He then went on to have many Match of the Year candidates with Dean Ambrose, while being Mr. Money in the Bank. This lead to Rollins having one of the greatest WrestleMania moments in history, cashing-in at the main event and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He then held this championship until just before Survivor Series 2015, where he became injured and had to forfeit the title. While he is still injured, expect a Triple H 2002-esque pop when he makes his return.
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