Dave Meltzer gave three NXT matches in 2018 five stars. It’s safe to say that the developmental brand’s roster is deep. Their policy of sweeping the indies for the best and brightest has already proven fruitful with wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Daniel Bryan. With the recent edition of NXT UK, there has never been so much talent under the WWE developmental umbrella. It’s only a matter of time before more of these young stars break into the main event on Monday and Tuesday nights. So, here’s ten WWE developmental Superstars that have the potential to “Takeover” the main roster.
10) Lars Sullivan
Vince McMahon is a sucker for big men. He loves his hulking behemoths, and Lars Sullivan fits that bill perfectly. At six-foot-three, three-hundred thirty pounds, Sullivan is one of the most intimidating figures in all of NXT. What makes the Leviathan Logophile special though, is his elegance on the mic. He’s able to convincingly deliver a Jake “The Snake” Roberts style promo, speaking softly but menacingly. Once Lars is called up, McMahon is sure to give him a strong push quickly.
9) Shayna Baszler
The former MMA fighter has truly come into her own as NXT Women’s champion. She talks tons of smack but can back every bit of it up. Her matches are always hard-hitting and entertaining, and her work on the mic has only gotten better with time. For someone with relatively little wrestling experience, Baszler is better than she has any right to be.
8) Velveteen Dream
With one five-star match under his belt at only twenty-two years old, the future is bright for the former Tough Enough competitor. Dream oozes charisma. Whatever that intangible “x”-factor is that makes a wrestler great, the Velveteen Dream has it in spades. The only thing holding him back is the chance that the main roster creative team won’t know how to handle him.
7) Nikki Cross
NXT’s resident twisted sister is consistently one of the most entertaining parts of the NXT Women’s Division. Her recent segment with the return of Aleister Black is up there with Mick Foley’s “This is Your Life” segment with The Rock. She’s captivating to watch, and her hard-hitting, unhinged style makes for some of the most brutal matches in all of WWE.
6) Tyler Bate
In 2017 at only nineteen years old Tyler Bate won the first UK Championship Tournament making him the youngest champion in WWE ever. His showdown with Pete Dunne at NXT Takeover Chicago won the match of the year award. To say that Bate is talented is a massive understatement. His ability to get the crowd behind him is second to none.
5) Johnny Gargano
The Whole Shebang broke the heart of every NXT fan a few weeks ago by being revealed as the one who attacked Aleister Black. Gargano had the best babyface run in NXT since Sami Zayn won the strap from Adrian Neville at Takeover: R Evolution. His never say die attitude, and incredible work rate won over the hearts of the WWE Universe in the same vein as Daniel Bryan.
4) Pete Dunne
There must be something in the water in NXT because Pete Dunne is only twenty-four. Of all the early-twenty-year-old talent in the black and yellow brand, Pete Dunne is the most well-rounded. The winner of the 2017 match of the year has an air of legitimacy about him that most WWE superstars can never achieve. Not to mention he is the longest reigning champion in the modern era of WWE, holding the UK Championship for 530 days as of November 1, 2018.
Ricochet is a superhero come to life. The things he can do in the air seem impossible. Arguably the most talented high-flyer in the world, his 630 Senton is one of the most impressive and innovative finishing moves in all of wrestling. The One and Only turns wrestling into performance art and has created some of the most memorable moments in NXT history. He is sure to soar on the main roster as he is too talented to be elsewhere.
2) Tommaso Ciampa
There has never been such a despised heel in NXT. Not even Kevin Owens received such vicious jeers after he stabbed Sami Zayn in the back. After brutally assaulting his DIY partner Johnny Gargano at Takeover: Chicago, Ciampa cemented his place in the NXT main event. His stiff offense, excellent promo work, and generally dislikeable attitude make him (in his words,) the greatest sports entertainer of all time. Ciampa is sure to go far on Raw or Smackdown.
1) Adam Cole
Mispronouncing baby has never been so cool. Cole is buttery-smooth between the ropes and one of the best on the mic. The former Bullet Club leader was the winner of the five-star NXT North American Championship ladder match, becoming the first holder of the belt. WWE and more specifically HHH have complete faith in the Panama City Playboy. Cole is sure to see gold when he makes it to the main roster.