It's quite amazing that in the five years NXT TakeOver specials have been around, not a single one of them has underwhelmed or left viewers with a sour taste in their mouths once they were over. The black-and-gold brand celebrated its 25th TakeOver event earlier this month and, as expected, it was nothing short of stellar.
One underrated aspect of these TakeOvers, however, is that you never know who is going to show up. The quarterly specials have hosted the debuts of Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, Adam Cole and Aleister Black (just to name a few) over the years, but all of those arrivals happened inside the squared circle. Others have happened on these shows in the form of an appearance in the audience.
As far back as TakeOver: Unstoppable in May 2015, up-and-coming athletes have been introduced to the NXT Universe through a brief shot of them sitting front row in the crowd among the masses, giving fans a small teaser of the star power the brand has waiting in the wings to bring in and push to the top.
Some were expected, while others came as a complete surprise. Either way, all of them have made their mark on NXT and beyond since having their face shown on screen for the first time. Now let's look at who's been the most successful of the bunch based off their stints in NXT and on the main roster.
Since 2008, Graham has been a diehard pro wrestling fan and, in 2010, he combined his passions for WWE and writing when he joined Bleacher Report. Equipped with a master's in journalism, Graham has contributed to WhatCulture, FanSided's Daily DDT, Sports Betting Dime, and GateHouse Media. Along the way, he has conducted interviews with wrestling superstars like Chris Jericho, Edge, Goldberg, Christian, Diamond Dallas Page, Jim Ross, Adam Cole, Tessa Blanchard, Ryback, and Nick Aldis among others.