11 Ups & 7 Downs For NXT In 2018

In-ring standards soar in this banner year for WWE developmental.

Tommaso Ciampa Johnny Gargano Ups and Downs

2019 is going to be one hell of a year for NXT.

Tommaso Ciampa and Shayna Baszler are two of the best champions in wrestling. Complex characters like Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black are thriving. New signing Io Shirai is primed to soar through the women's division. Oney Lorcan exists. Bianca Belair, Matt Riddle, and the aforementioned Dream are among wrestling's hottest prospects. The list goes on, and with more world-class talent expected to flood the Performance Center throughout 2019, it won't be long before things get even wilder.

... but what about the year that was?

While not without their flaws, the past 12 months can't be considered anything other than a success. They've helped reinforce NXT's reputation as the destination for cutting-edge American wrestling, and with fewer unfinished developmental prospects making TV than ever before, it feels increasingly like Triple H is god-booking his own super-indie. Exceptions remain, but the level of sheen and polish has never been so high.

With the last TakeOver of the year out of the way and only a few episodes of weekly television remaining, let's take a look at everything that made NXT's 2018 what it was...


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