The WWE has prided themselves on creating superstars from the ground up, such examples include Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar just to name a few. Where are these megastars now? They’re retired, moved on, the only one still in a ring is WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar…. when he decides to show up. The shocking thing is WWE has a proven training ground that they aren’t taking advantage of, NXT.
The so called 3rd Global Brand of the WWE is completely underutilized. The NXT brand has brought us such incredible athletes, some home grown and some from the Independent Circle. Tyler Breeze, Sami Zayne, Bo Dallas, Bobby Roode, Neville, Cesaro, Big E, Finn Balor, Bailey, and Sasha Banks. How many of these superstars have been successfully pushed, better yet how many names do you recognize? Did you even know that most of these young superstars have been NXT Champions? There have been glimpses of glory in the NXT brand but when they make their way to the main WWE roster they lose all their momentum, held at the mid-card if they’re that lucky.
WWE is working with an old business model, they get behind the type of superstars like Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin and Drew McIntrye. These Superstars are talented of course but what makes them better than Finn Balor and Sami Zayne? The WWE main roster shows have a combined 5 Hours of content but constantly have the same matches with the same Superstars…. How many times do we have to see Baron Corbin and his group of goons in the main event facing off against Braun Strowman and his plus one whoever that may be that week? Lets get something straight right now I have no problem with Strowman or McIntyre but why isn’t WWE building more superstars? Why are they so focused on these types of superstars that that all others are stuck in the background?
As someone who watches all WWE programming I am constantly impressed by the compelling stories NXT can craft in the 1 hour they get weekly. NXT uses their roster in a way that benefits all their superstars. The athletes in NXT constantly put on better matches than their WWE main roster counter parts, please don’t take my word for it, watch an NXT Takeover show and then watch a main roster PPV and you tell me which you enjoyed better. NXT‘s Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano have been telling the best stories in all of Professional Wrestling since 2017, where are these kinds of storylines on the main roster?
Let’s think back to the Attitude Era, who was in the WWE Title picture…. Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and the list goes on. Now lets name who we would consider contenders to the WWE Universal Title based on the current landscape of the WWE…we have Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins maybe we could add Drew McIntyre to that list but thats really it. I know, I know thats just RAW so lets talk Smackdown. Our contenders for Daniel Bryan‘s WWE Championship would be Kofi Kinston, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens maybe Mustafa Ali. With such a large roster of superstars how is it that we have such a short list of contenders? It’s because the WWE model has done a terrible job of building up their NXT Call Ups. We should be able to have Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayne, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Andrade on the list of contenders but these athletes have been so flattened out and made to look average that it’s extremely difficult to take them seriously as credible threats in the current landscape.
If the goal of WWE is really to get people to start watching their programming on the WWE Network then they need to do a much better job at building up their NXT Call ups on the main roster. Why would we care about NXT if the call ups come up to the Main Roster and lose all their matches? The perfect example of that type of booking is Finn Balor, a tremendous superstar of incredible talent. Finn Balor was the NXT Champion for 292 days, came up to the Main Roster and became the 1st ever WWE Universal Champion. Unfortunately he got hurt and had to relinquish the Championship but what has he done since then? He’s feuded on and off with Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship, feuded with Baron Corbin because Finn is a “Small Man”, and has had multiple losing efforts to Bobby Lashley again for the Intercontinental Championship. I think Finn Balor would make an amazing WWE Top Star and could be a huge draw for the company but we’re being conditioned to see him as a nothing special. A man who is called the “Demon King” and man who has the moniker of “The extraordinary man who can do extra ordinary things” and we are being shown that he is nothing special? That is a HUGE mistake WWE.
If WWE doesn’t start properly building their “Top Card” of superstars they will be, as Jim Ross would say “In a world of trouble”. WWE has possibly the greatest roster of Superstars they’ve ever had, honestly the greatest roster across the whole industry but if they continue down the same path they will find themselves with a stale product, unsatisfied fan base and unhappy talent.