WWE has a lot of Superstars on its main roster, and the depth of this roster is why WWE has been so successful. Not every Superstar on the roster has been successful though, as for every John Cena and Steve Austin, there is a Heath Slater and R-Truth. While these two are good wrestlers in their own right, they haven’t been major Superstars partly due to the fact that they didn’t stand out and ended up being lost in the shuffle, due to their characters becoming stale. One way to counter this is to reinvent yourself while still on the main roster. However, the problem with this is that with so many Superstars on the roster, there is a risk that you would not get enough time on screen to reinvent yourself and get back over.
One Superstar who managed to reinvent herself was Emma who returned to NXT and got herself back over with her pairing with Dana Brooke. Tyson Kidd also spent a brief amount of time in NXT and managed to improve his act. This has opened the door on potential scenarios where WWE Superstars make a drop down to NXT in order to revitalise themselves. On top of this, a lot of former Superstars that weren’t quite successful enough during their time at WWE could make their return in NXT and revitalise their careers.
So here are the top 15 Superstars who could revitalise their careers in NXT.
15. Matt Striker
To many, the decision to let Matt Striker go was a bad one, although Striker has said himself that he thought he didn’t do too well on the main announce team. Striker as a commentator would do very well on the NXT commentary team as his focus on what’s going on right in front of him would suit the NXT style better than the main roster style, all while potentially learning how to become a better fit to the main announce team. After re-establishing himself as a top commentator, he would be able to provide a nice alternative to Michael Cole and JBL.
14. Brodus Clay
Brodus Clay has formed a decent position for himself in TNA after leaving the WWE, and credit to him for this, but there must be part of him that wants to try again in the ‘big leagues,’ especially after saying he doesn’t think he was used to his full potential on the main roster. Brodus Clay (or Tyrus as he’s known in TNA) could go on a monster heel run in NXT, and be the Superstar that everyone thought that he could be in the first place. A feud with Samoa Joe would be very intriguing to see, as it would have a real ‘clash of the titans’ feel to it. As well, after spending time in NXT as a monster heel, he could come up to the main roster as a much better version of the bodyguard figure that he was with Alberto Del Rio.
13. Ted DiBiase Jr.
It’s odd to think that during his time in Legacy, Ted DiBiase Jr. was considered to have much more potential than Cody Rhodes seeing how they both turned out. Unfortunately for DiBiase Jr., he was in the shadow of the great Ted DiBiase Sr., and he never really stepped out from this. He has said in interviews that the door to WWE is never closed and he is only 33 meaning that there is still time for him to make his return. If he was to return in NXT, he would be able to establish his own personality, leading to a return to the main roster as a solid mid carder.
12. Titus O’Neil
While his suspension may be over, there is every chance that Titus O’Neil is still in the bad books with Vince McMahon, so a move down to NXT could be the best option right now. Down in NXT, O’Neil could turn himself into a character that complains about his place in WWE, using his real life suspension to fuel this, and his mic skills would get him over. While an underrated power wrestler, O’Neil would be able to put on some good matches with many of the wrestlers in NXT, especially as a big heel against some of the smaller wrestlers.
11. Evan Bourne
Evan Bourne, or Matt Sydal, has done well for himself since his departure from WWE, but has also said he would be open to return. NXT would be the perfect environment for Bourne, as he is a skilled singles wrestler and an even better tag team star. His high flying style would be popular with the crowd and the Shooting Star Press never fails to impress. Teaming with another Superstar and having a match with American Alpha would prove to be a truly awesome spectacle and put Bourne back on the WWE map.
It’s fair to say that Montel Vontavious Porter hasn’t been as successful as other Superstars on this list since his release from WWE, yet despite this, he remains confident that he will be back in the WWE at some point. In fairness to MVP, any momentum he had on the main roster was crushed by the dismal losing streak he went on. MVP’s ‘baller’ gimmick is exactly the kind of gimmick that would be over in NXT, as the crowd would absolutely hate him and it would receive a similar reaction to Tyler Breeze due to his arrogance. The only thing that MVP would need to change is his awful finisher.
9. Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel is the only member of The Social Outcasts that has proper potential. With Heath Slater fitting well as the comedic jobber, Bo Dallas as the hated whitemeat babyface, and Adam Rose’s future very much in doubt. Axel has potential as a strong heel. While not the best talker, they could easily pair him with a manager to do the talking (though that did fail with Paul Heyman). A pairing with a manager would allow Axel to concentrate on destroying opponents before coming back up to the main roster.
8. Sin Cara
There is always a place for a luchador wrestling star on the main roster, but unfortunately for Sin Cara, that place on the main roster is taken by his partner Kalisto. While he could stay on the main roster as a lower midcarder, he could really rejuvenate himself by once again heading back to NXT. Currently there are no Luchadors in NXT and his presence on the show would feel special. He could play the underdog hero well, especially if he was put in matches with big men such as Samoa Joe. A good singles run in NXT would help Sin Cara be remembered as a great luchador.
7. Byron Saxton
Bryon Saxton is everyone’s favourite worst commentator on the announce team. While he is annoying, and the subject of a lot of abuse from Kevin Owens, there was a time when he was a good announcer. His time as the play-by-play commentator on NXT showed a lot of promise and, at only 33, he could be a key announcer for years to come. If he was to return to NXT as part of the announce team, he could refine his skills as a commentator and make people forget the bad times of Saxton in WWE.
6. Colt Cabana
Colt Cobana is one of the true missed opportunities in WWE of recent times. He is a great talker and an amazing wrestling technician. While he may have sabotaged any chance he has of singing with WWE by doing his famous podcast with CM Punk, he does have links with stars such as Kevin Owens, so there may still be hope. If Cobana was to enter NXT, he would be able to show a wide audience just how good of a wrestler he is and he would have amazing matches with stars such as Finn Balor and Eric Young. Being a proper member of WWE would certainly be career affirming for Cobana, as he could say he has made it in everywhere he wrestled.
5. Damien Sandow
Damien Sandow is a curious case for WWE. He should not have gotten over in any of the gimmicks that he was given, yet against all odds, he became one of the most over Superstars on the roster. Then, bafflingly, WWE decided to release him. Damien Sandow could be the star of NXT if he was to make his return, with his amazing mic skills and great wrestling ability. He would also be able to have a gimmick that had a chance to get over without Sandow trying ridiculously hard to make it work.
4. Mr. Kennedy
Mr. Kennedy (or Anderson during his time away from WWE) was destined for big things after winning Money in the Bank and was even set for a championship run at one point. However, a combination of backstage politics and injuries stopped this push and eventually led to Kennedy’s release. Since then, he wrestled in TNA and various independent promotions, with mixed success. A run in NXT would be hugely successful for Kennedy, as he wouldn’t even need to change his old WWE gimmick. The loud, arrogant heel gimmick is always going to be over in professional wrestling and Kennedy is one of the best in the business at this. A stint in NXT could be enough to convince WWE that Anderson is ready to return to the main roster.
3. The Ascension
Making their main roster debut in December of 2014, The Ascension were doomed from the start. While they were a team with a lot of potential, they were dressed up to be nothing more than a knock off Road Warrior’s tribute act and every time that they were on TV, JBL would do his absolute best to bury them. A return to NXT would see them drop this cheap gimmick and go back to being an old school dominating tag team that are similar to The Revival. Once they were established as their own original team, they could make their return to the main roster with a fresh start.
Just four years ago at WrestleMania XXIX, Fandango defeated one of the top wrestlers of this generation in Chris Jericho. This should have kickstarted a rise to the top for Fandango, however, a ballroom dancer gimmick is always going to be short lived and Fandango has struggled since then. The solution to this is a return to NXT, but not as Fandango. Instead, he should go back to being Johnny Curtis, a cool heel. He has all the tools to be a top star in WWE, with great in ring skills and mic skills, but only as Curtis and not Fandango.
1. Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze is not only the owner of the most annoying but catchy theme song on the main roster, he is one of the most underrated wrestlers on the main roster. The Prince of Pretty could be a great upper midcarder, however, WWE killed any momentum he had after his win against Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series, by making him lose almost every match since. What seems best for Breeze is a return to NXT and a main event run with his gorgeous gimmick. After regaining his momentum, he could make his return to the main roster.
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