10 NXT Stars That Failed On The Main Roster (And Why)

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

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In addition to being the WWE’s sole developmental territory, Triple H’s little vanity project NXT has blown up in the last few years to become the much-vaunted ‘third brand’ of WWE, with the state-of-the-art Performance Center representing WWE’s unofficial second headquarters.

Although NXT branding officially began in June 2012, the current success of NXT really began around February 2014 with the first live special, NXT arRIVAL. In the three and a half years since, the call-ups have come thick and fast, and RAW’s red and SmackDown’s blue have become suffused with NXT yellow.

The jury’s still out on some of NXT’s best and brightest - we’ll have to wait to see how the main roster eventually treats potential headliners like Finn Bálor, Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura after their stratospheric starts. But for others, it’s painfully clear that the main roster hasn’t been as kind as developmental was.

Clearly, not everyone gets to be a Kevin Owens or a Charlotte Flair. But despite the time, effort and money it cost to develop the talent, it seems that many NXT call-ups have been wasted on the main roster.

Here’s the who, the how, and the why.

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Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.