WWE have made the bold choice of bringing the services of NXT’s Matt Riddle to SmackDown Live in an attempt to rejuvenate programming slightly and give him his first taste of mainstream exposure. The hype surrounding his imminent debut is mounting and fantasy bookers are already pitching their dream matches for ‘The Original Bro’.
Now that WWE are back to their usual MO of calling up NXT stars when they’ve out-lived their tenure in NXT, it begs the question of who else might be ready to make their official debut on either Monday Night RAW or SmackDown Live. In this piece, we’re going to run down 5 potential call-ups that are ready to take place over the next few months, hopefully making up for the slump created by empty-arena shows and the pandemic in general.
1. Tommaso Ciampa
Now that the everlasting feud between ‘The Blackheart’ and ‘The Rebel Heart’ has finally settled, it seems that Tommaso Ciampa has accomplished everything there is to do in NXT at this point in his wrestling career.
Having been on the shelf for so long and now struggling to find his place on the card, it might be the perfect place for Ciampa to put aside the main roster grudge and take the plunge onto either RAW or SmackDown Live.
I would say the same for his former partner Johnny Gargano, but with him now coming into his heel run and challenging for the North American Championship, I think it’s best WWE focus on establishing Ciampa on the main roster first before considering his former ally. Once Tommaso puts over Karrion Kross at TakeOver: In Your House, it would be a huge way for him to kick off the summer by making a surprise debut on either of the main roster brands.
Ciampa is a fantastic hand in the ring and could add a hugely fresh dynamic to the main roster, whether that be as a menacing heel or an anti-hero. Fans would go nuts to see Tommaso finally bring his services to the main roster and start ticking off some of those dream feuds we’d all love to see.
2. Dexter Lumis
Even though Dexter Lumis has only just started to find his feet on NXT, it almost seems like he’s a little out of place.
Lumis’ gimmick is tailor-made for that of the quirky world of the main roster, similar to that of Elias and No Way Jose, who both failed to get over with the slightly more mature audience. Dexter Lumis has started turning heads with his performances and has even managed to break into the main event scene after only competing for a few weeks prior. Meaning there could be big things lying in wait for the big man in the near future.
We all know that Vince would very much fall in love with Lumis once he lays eyes on the dude. He’s a massive presence and the stories surrounding his character practically write themselves. Before Dexter takes on too many losses on the NXT roster, it might be best to rocket-strap him to either RAW or SmackDown now before he loses too much of his villainous aura.
3. Chelsea Green
Since joining the Robert Stone brand, Chelsea Green has become somewhat of an unsung hero of the NXT Women’s division, putting together some great performances against the likes of Kayden Carter and most recently Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley. It might be Chelsea’s natural charisma or the addition of Robert Stone as a sponsor, but I personally believe that she’s ready for another trip to the main roster.
Chelsea has already been featured on a few episodes of RAW and SmackDown, competing against Charlotte Flair during the Road to WrestleMania. Even though that has already been lost in the annals of history, it’s at least something for the more casual audience to use as a reference, meaning she’d hopefully get some sort of reaction if/when she does debut on the main roster.
So long as she remains signed with the Robert Stone brand, I can see this going places on the main roster, even bringing in other meandering stars into the mix for a stable and eventual run at the Women’s Tag titles.
4. Damien Priest
The towering Damien Priest has yet to pick up any gold in NXT but happens to be entering a high-profile match at this weekend’s TakeOver special against Finn Balor.
Being revealed as the culprit behind Balor’s assault, Priest has established himself as someone to watch as he trudges on towards the main event of NXT. Now, let’s assume that he’s unsuccessful in defeating the former NXT Champion at In Your House, meaning he’s once again left to try and pick up his first major victory. It’s probably going to be a while before Priest can next get a run such as this, so perhaps there’s no better time to start considering his call-up.
Damien Priest could easily fit in on RAW or SmackDown Live, he’s more than capable in the ring and brings a new flavour to big man wrestling. His entrance alone is enough to get him over and he can manage well enough on the mic to swim amongst the big fish on the main roster. Priest is another superstar fortunate enough to fit the VKM standard, he’s big, brutal and marketable.
I would love to see Damien get his first shot at the big time, just so I can see his badass entrance with all the added flare of the main roster.
5. The Undisputed Era
Over the past few months, The Undisputed Era have been picked apart of their championship gold, an eventuality that was waiting to happen. The last remaining bastion of their dominance is of course Adam Cole, who has just broken a year as NXT Champ. He’ll be defending his title against Velveteen Dream this coming weekend and depending on the result of said title match, this could mean that the status quo of the main roster is in need of a good shock to the system.
The Undisputed Era have gone above and beyond during their NXT tenure and have well and truly etched themselves into the foundations of the brand, seeing them through to the new era on Fox and maintaining the high standards they’ve all set across the divisions. All four superstars would be a welcome sight on the main roster, having already established themselves as a threat during the brand warfare angle at Survivor Series and Adam Cole proving to be a popular star even outside of known waters.
NXT would definitely miss having Cole, Strong, O’Reilly and Fish featured on a regular basis, but they’ve done all they can for the brand and now it’s time for them to either sink or swim on the main roster.
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