10 WWE NXT Stars Who Have Been Down In Developmental For 5 Or More Years

Will these prospects ever escape the black-and-gold brand? Do they want to?


Getting called up from NXT to WWE's main roster is far from a guarantee. In fact, for every aspiring Superstar who makes the move from the black-and-gold brand to either Raw or SmackDown, there are just as many wrestlers who get cut and aren't seen or heard from again.

For as much talk as there is about NXT being a viable third brand on par with Raw and SmackDown (which is absolutely accurate), it's still developmental at the end of the day. It boasts a ton of talent and has recently hosted the returns of more notable names than ever before, including former Universal champion Finn Bálor.

Despite that, NXT is primarily where wrestlers with not as much experience are groomed and given a chance to learn from the best.

However, there is a weird middle ground of stars who remain on NXT after five or more years. Whether it was their choice to stay where they are or are simply still works in progress, there is a handful of prospects whose NXT tenures have lasted a lot longer than expected.

With no end in sight to their stints down in developmental, these are the 10 competitors who have had an extended stay on NXT since 2015 or earlier, for better or for worse.

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Since 2008, Graham has been a diehard pro wrestling fan and, in 2010, he combined his passions for WWE and for writing and began writing for Bleacher Report. Equipped with a Bachelor's in Digital Journalism from Endicott College and a Master's in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in progress, Graham has contributed to WhatCulture, Daily DDT, Sports Betting Dime, and Gatehouse Media. Along the way, he has conducted interviews with WWE superstars like Chris Jericho, Adam "Edge" Copeland, Bill Goldberg, Jay "Christian" Reso, Diamond Dallas Page, and Jim Ross to name a few.