10 Wrestlers Who Peaked In WWE Developmental

Was glory in WWE developmental and NXT the apex for these wrestlers?!

Karrion Kross Scarlett NXT

Developmental success is no guarantee of main roster stardom.

If it was, then WWE would have an impossible task juggling countless ready-made main eventers pushing their way up from NXT. Some will make it on Raw and SmackDown, and others will stutter. That's just the way of things. There's a variety of reasons for main roster failure though, and blame can't always be exclusively pinned on creative.

Sometimes, wrestlers just peak before they reach the top shows. It doesn't mean they won't go on to do some nice things elsewhere, or even within WWE's system in the future, but it does mean they'll plateau as characters and either never improve as workers in-ring or never get more over with the audience. That can lead to a lot of frustration, which is probably why 8 of the 10 acts examined here are no longer under contract.

They've all gone on to do some decent stuff in other companies, but fans often point to their work in NXT as a career apex. That's totally fair.

These wrestlers peaked before they hit the big time. They all have varying levels of 'something left to offer', but it'll arguably never be more than what they had in developmental.

10. Cameron Grimes

Karrion Kross Scarlett NXT

You've gotta feel sorry for Cameron Grimes.

He was a hot ticket on NXT against all the odds, but WWE didn't have a clue how to handle him on the main roster. Grimes was in that awkward place; been there, done that in developmental, but didn't appear to be a great fit for the bigger shows. In the end, creative wet the bed on Cameron and ended up doing sod all with him.

Grimes was promoted to SmackDown's roster in the 2023 Draft, scored a win over Baron Corbin, then... he was barely seen again before being released in April 2024. His call up proved to be one of the most pointless in company history, and that stinks considering how majestic his 'Straight To The Moon' gimmick was on NXT.

Look back through the archives between 2021-2022 and you'll see he was one of the most engaging and endearing workers on the entire WWE roster. Yes, that includes anyone housed on Raw and SmackDown. Sadly, he couldn't translate that developmental success into anything worthwhile afterwards.


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.