My renewed interest in WWE has a lot to do with the NXT alumni currently dominating both brands. In a lot of cases those stars are driving the main storylines and providing the best matches on the card.
With over 60 NXT alumni on Raw and SmackDown Live some are destined to shine, while others are doomed to failure. I figured I’d look at the top five alumni success stories and five who would probably be better off in Full Sail University.
I’m not going to count the stars who were already highly polished, but had to do the quick NXT apprenticeship like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Asuka and Bobby Roode. Or FCW era stars who made a brief stopover on NXT like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Here’s my look at five big NXT alumni winners and failures
5 NXT Alumni Winners
During his run in NXT, Jordan frequently seemed uncomfortable during promos and relied on the charisma of his tag team partner Chad Gable and superior wrestling abilities to shine at Full Sail. After an abbreviated American Alpha run on SmackDown Live, Jordan was moved to the Raw brand in the seemingly disastrous role of Kurt Angle’s son.
Jordan had some rough moments at first, but is becoming more comfortable with the character. His stock on Raw has clearly risen with competitive matches against Roman Reigns and Finn Balor as well as a featured role as Seth Rollins’ tag team champion partner. Not bad for a bastard.
Originally the eye candy/mouthpiece for Blake and Murphy, Alexa started to become a force on her own in the women’s division. But getting the call up to SmackDown Live provided the spotlight Alexa needed to fully put her talents on display.
With more creative attire and further honing of her mean girl persona, Alexa quickly became a star in the division and has gone on to become a multi-time Raw and SmackDown Live women’s champion.
NXT’s The Drifter had a clearly defined character and gimmick in NXT and while he’s lost his last name, Elias has broken out as a star on Raw. The fans have an opinion on him and so far, he’s the rare character on either roster who’s win/loss record doesn’t matter. He’s that commanding of a character. It would be shocking if 2018 ends without Elias capturing some gold.
The Boss quickly became a standout on NXT as Banks honed her character attitude to match her solid in-ring work. After becoming the NXT Women’s Champion, Banks went on to have a series of breakout matches for the division and NXT. Upon being called up to the main roster, Banks has continued to be featured as a major player with multiple WWE Women’s Championship reigns and high profile matches such as a lengthy stint in the first female Royal Rumble and Hell in the Cell.
This shouldn’t be any surprise. Charlotte is one of those generational talents who needed a bigger platform than Full Sail. In NXT, she was positioned as being on the same level as her peers. On the main roster, Charlotte immediately became the dominant player and had a record-setting undefeated pay-per-view/network streak.
Charlotte has been established as the top female wrestler even when she doesn’t have the title. If you’re putting a list of WWE’s most valuable players she’s easily in the Top 10 if not Top 5. That makes her one of the top NXT Alumni Winners.