NXT has never not been a little flawed.
To approximately 600,000-800,000 WWE fans a week, the black-and-gold brand is the company's most prestigious entity. Typically full of the best wrestling and booking the organisation is capable of it, it's also been home to much of what there's still been to love over the last decade.
TakeOver remains the most valuable pay-per-view commodity in wrestling, with only a few duds to speak of in its rich six year history. The wrestlers are generally well-protected by the weekly television churn, then asked to bring their supreme best for the brand's biggest stage. Then, if they're "lucky", they get the call and Raw or SmackDown alongside a canny fat pay rise.
This was once an aspirational pathway, until years of precedent highlighted the the main roster run as an assault course filled with obstacles sure to harpoon the dreams of the Full Sail hopefuls. More megastars-in-waiting failed than succeeded, to the point where NXT lynchpins Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa made public their wish to stay on the brand after narrowly avoiding an aborted permanent call-up in 2019.
The process might fail the talents, but what of those that live to fight another day and somehow find what appeared completely lost? These are to be celebrated almost as much as their original incarnations - survivors of the malfunctioning system, rather than just stars on the one that still works...