NXT has been the developmental territory in WWE for quite some time now and it has helped develop some amazing talents such as Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Big E, and many more. However, there have been many talents that got the call up from NXT that didn’t fare too well on the main roster. Some have been released as others are still trying to figure themselves out but regardless, here are the top ten wasted NXT talents. (Note: These are my opinions so please don’t attack me if you do not agree).
#10 – Dana Brooke
Ok look I know Dana hasn’t been on the main roster for that long but she is still a wasted talent. As much as I despise Dana and her character, she deserves more than being Charlotte’s slave. In my opinion, Dana was called up WAY too early in the first place but with time and a little bit more matches, Dana can be one of the biggest stars in the company. Write that down. The rumor is she will be receiving a huge babyface push in the near future so maybe taking down the Queen herself, Charlotte, she can win the fans over and go on to be a huge star.
#9 – Apollo Crews
How many times is the WWE going to keep letting one of the most talented guys on the roster keep looking like a joke? Apollo Crews has world champion written all over him but yet he is still being tossed to the side and losing matches to guys he should be beating. For instance, he recently lost to Curt Hawkins at a house show and if that doesn’t tell you that Apollo has been forgotten about, I don’t know what does.Ever since being called up from NXT, Apollo has done nothing but look like a joke. Losing matches to The Miz, AJ Styles, and Baron Corbin recently just proves that he has no direction or plans. And with lack of character, it looks as if Ap0llo just might not reach his full potential in the WWE but there is still time to change all that.
#8 – Adam Rose
Where do I begin with Adam Rose? A former FCW Heavyweight Champion as Leo Kruger went on to NXT for a bit before being called up to the main roster. He was given a party guy gimmick that bombed immediately. It was fun at first especially with having the rosebuds around him screwing up to help him but then it grew to be a terrible gig. After failing to get over with fans, Rose was put in a feud with…..wait for it….a damn bunny. Rose was put in a feud with his former Rosebud, the Rabbit. That was the beginning of the end for Rose as he was put in the Social Outcasts stable that grew some popularity until he was suspended for failing the wellness policy and then later released for a domestic violence charge. Shame.
#7 – Curtis Axel
The picture above goes to show what Curtis Axel should have been. As the son of Mr. Perfect, Curtis should have been something great. As an original member of The Nexus as Michael McGillicutty, he was destined for the spotlight. And he got his moment as he became a “Paul Heyman Guy” after being repackaged as Curtis Axel. He would go on to become the Intercontinental Champion and have a feud with CM Punk and Triple H but after Paul Heyman dropped him, he went under. Becoming a “jobber” and given multiple gimmicks that didn’t work such as the “Axelmania” gimmick, he would soon join the Social Outcasts stable but as we all know, that just didn’t work out. Curtis has had one televised match since the brand split and hasn’t been seen in months. Maybe he’ll get an opportunity one day. Maybe.
#6 – Bo Dallas
I really did Bo-lieve. I want to Bo-lieve. I still Bo-lieve. Bo Dallas has been one of the biggest main roster flops of all time and it is all due to his gimmick. From being a former NXT Champion (an entertaining one at that) to becoming a member of the Social Outcasts is not something to be happy about. I mean sure, Bo has been winning squash matches in the last few weeks with his more aggressive “believe in Bo” gimmick but the damage has already been done. Bo Dallas has lost all credibility and I do Bo-lieve that there is no bringing him back.
#5 – The Vaudevillians
Let me take you back to a moment in time. NXT TakeOver Brooklyn in 2015. The Vaudevillians won the NXT Tag Team titles against Blake and Murphy in a phenomenal match to one of the loudest crowd reactions I have ever heard. The fans were ecstatic and The Vaudevillians were the most entertaining tag team in the WWE. And now they’re losing to the Hype Bros. What the hell happened in a years time to make them lose every single match and have no fan support? Their gimmick is great and personally, I do believe they should have beaten The New Day for the tag titles at Extreme Rules when they were literally a millisecond from winning. I love The Vaudevillians so putting them on this list breaks my heart and I really do hope that they can regain that magic that was created in Brooklyn last year.
#4 – Fandango
When someone beats the greatest wrestler of all time at WrestleMania, you would think that person would go on to be a star. That was not the case for Fandango. Coming out the winner of the fourth season of the game show version of NXT, Fandango was instantly over with the fans because of his very catchy theme song but that was about it. After beating Chris Jericho at the biggest stage in sports, Fandango went into what I like to call “the wasted talent pool”. He was just another guy WWE refused to give a chance to and now he is barely making televised appearances with his tag team partner Tyler Breeze, and speaking of Breeze…
#3 – Tyler Breeze
You knew this was coming. To this day, Tyler Breeze is one of the most underrated and underused wrestlers of all time. I mean sure his gimmick is along the likes of John Morrison and the older day Dolph Ziggler but his talent is undeniable. He was a hit in NXT as he had great matches with Neville, Finn Balor, Apollo Crews, and many more. Ever since his main roster debut he has done nothing but taken a backseat to the more popular talent but if Breeze was given the right gimmick and opportunity, he can be a huge wit in the company. Breeze is the only person on this list who I feel can still turn his career around. Come on WWE…make my life complete.
#2 – The Ascension
From the most dominant tag team in NXT history to the biggest joke on the main roster. Konnor and Viktor dominated NXT and are the longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions in history to this day. Once they were promoted and hyped to be called up to the main roster, the hype was very low. No one really cared about The Ascension and they were given a reason not to care as they were completely humiliated by the NwO, The New Age Outlaws, and the APA in one of the most bury like moments of all time. I mean sure they got a win over The New Age Outlaws but the damage was already beyond repair.It looks as if the team can get back on track on Smackdown LIVE but the fans are going to need a huge reason to believe in these guys. As for me, I just don’t know.
#1 – Sami Zayn
It literally killed me typing his name out on this list but how can I not put it on here? Sami Zayn is without a doubt the most directionless guy on the main roster and the biggest main roster flop. I don’t blame Sami for being a flop but I do blame the people backstage who reportedly do not believe in him (I’m looking at you Vince). After the amazing Battleground win against Kevin Owens, what has Zayn done? Well he was on the pre-show at Summerslam, he beat Jinder Mahal, lost to Chris Jericho at Clash Of Champions, and recently beat Titus O’Neil. Zayn should be in a high profile feud and WINNING but no. He is losing to guys like Jericho but beating guys like Mahal in POINTLESS matches. I love Sami Zayn and so do 90% of the fans but when he is losing very important matches and given zero opportunity, it gives us reason to ask “what if”? What if Sami was never called up? He wouldn’t be losing matches he should be winning that’s for sure. Is time running out for Zayn? Yes. Maybe his luck can change but considering how big of a star he should be when he is not, Zayn is the biggest NXT to main roster flop.
*I am not taking anything away from the talent on this list. I am only voicing how I feel about how these talents were treated once called up.*
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Author: Caden Moran