A set of fresh new faces have graced the main roster in the latest set of NXT call-ups, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited.
Over the past two weeks or so, the WWE Universe has been introduced to a set of fresh new-faces who have, until recently, been playing their trade in NXT – WWE’s developmental/third brand. Here, we examine who were the NXT call-ups, and why you should be excited about seeing them on WWE TV.
Baron Corbin had one of the most successful debuts in WWE’s recent history, appearing in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. Despite not having a televised entrance, and fans having no idea that Corbin would even be competing in the match, NXT’s Lone Wolf walked out victorious after eliminating Kane at the final hurdle.
The following night on RAW, Corbin was placed in a match with Dolph Ziggler which ended in a double count-out after quite an entertaining match. Following the end of the match, Corbin hit Ziggler with his signature move – The End of Days – on the outside of the ring.
So, why should you be excited? Well, over the course of the past 2 years in NXT, Corbin has evolved into one of the most hated heels in the promotion while also improving his in-ring work and all round character immensely. His End of Days signature move is one of the most devastating and unique finishing moves in the company right now and at 6 ft 8 in, he has the height and physique that WWE usually love. Known for his hard-hitting move-set, his cocky persona and devastating offense, Corbin could have a bright future in WWE.
Apollo Crews has been everywhere and done it all. A hugely successful former independent wrestler under the name Uhaa Nation, he has held titles in Dragon Gate USA, Full Impact Pro, Great Championship Wrestling and Preston City Wrestling as well as being named #155 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Top 500 wrestlers of 2012.
A highly athletic and charismatic performer, Crews has all the skills and attributes to really make waves on RAW and Smackdown. In NXT he used a finishing sequence of a Gorilla Press into a Standing Moonsault, however now that he has made the step up Crews has begun using the Spin-Out Powerbomb to win matches. While the Powerbomb showcases Apollo’s incredible power, the Gorilla Press combined that with his amazing athleticism.
Crews has had a relatively short career in NXT however, appearing on the WWE Network show for roughly 8 months before receiving the call to head to the main roster. During his time with NXT, Crews has always been positioned very highly on the card and placed in some compelling feuds. Competing mainly in squash matches, Apollo begun to develop some momentum and on October 8th he won a #1 Contenders Battle Royal to go on to challenge Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship. Losing this match due to interference from Baron Corbin, that would lead into his next feud which he ultimately won. His last match in NXT was in Dallas where he secured victory over Elias Samson. His main roster debut came on RAW the night after WrestleMania 32, where he defeated former NXT stalwart Tyler Breeze in a very quick match designed to showcase Apollo’s strengths.
Crews really has all the tools to be a huge star. Whether WWE know how to utilise those tools is a different story.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy
The most over and charismatic team in the history of NXT are coming up to the main roster, and words can’t decribe how excited you all should be.
“Smacktalker Skywalker”, as Enzo refers to himself , is one of the most gifted talents on the mic that NXT has to offer and accompanied by Big Cass, they are one of the most formidable teams in NXT and WWE as a whole. A unique blend of power, hard-hitting offense, a high-flying moveset and promos that can tear you in half; Enzo & Cass have really formed a niche for themself in NXT. Despite never having won the NXT Tag Team Championship, the dynamic duo have cultivated a loyal fanbase who have stayed loyal. Their promos as they make their way to their ring are almost always the same and culminate in Cass, and the NXT Universe, spelling out the ONE word to describe their opponents. S-A-W-F-T- SAAAAAAAAAAAWFT!
As they make the transition to the main roster, Enzo & Cass have already proved they can get over and are beginning to become as popular in WWE as they were in NXT. The current Tag Team tournament that is playing out on RAW and Smackdown is the perfect opportunity to introduce the team & maybe even have them challenge for the gold early on. How you doin’?
One of the most unique tag-teams in recent times, Aiden English and Simon Gotch are certainly something a bit different. Modelling their characters on old-school circus performers and strong-men, they’re something that hasn’t been seen in professional wrestling in a long time.
During their time in NXT, their entrance was a display of “Debonair devastation of such exquisite sophistication” and involved an announcer appearing on the big screen announcing their entrance with spotlight highlighting both Gotch & English.
An old school tag-team that are no strangers to showing off, just because of how manly they are, The Vaudevillains lit up the NXT tag team division. They defeated Blake & Murphy at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August 2015 for the NXT Tag Team Championships, but their title reign was short live-. After just 61 days, they dropped the title to Dash and Dawson and were plunged back into the mire. They were involved in a couple of #1 contenders matches, however were unsuccessful on all occasions.
Now they have made the step-up to RAW and Smackdown, English & Gotch are part of a tag-team revival that has included Enzo & Cass as well as Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows who made their debuts recently on RAW, attacking The Usos after their match. One thing is for sure. WWE just got a whole lot more manly.
Honourable mentions go out to Emma, who spent the better part of the past year developing a new character in NXT and has now returned to working full-time on the main roster, and to Zack Ryder who won the Intercontinetnal Championship at Wrestlemania 32. Despite dropping the belt to The Miz the next night on RAW, Ryder showed he still has plenty of talent and fans on his side.
NXT has proved to be a great building ground for stars of the future. Now that some of them have made it to the main roster, it is time for them to TakeOver.
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