6 NXT Superstars To Look Out For In 2016
It’s a new year, and a new WWE. Well, maybe not entirely new, but with the ever expanding NXT production line continuing to pay dividends, the main roster is continually being pumped full of young talent. Hell, out of the 7 current champions in the company, 5 of them are NXT graduates. Even more are challenging those champions for their titles, and so it stands to reason that 2016 will see another influx of Superstars make their mark. Who then, out of the new breed, will make the biggest impact on the wrestling world this year?
This guy is like a a selfish builder – he has all the tools. He’s a total phenomenon in the ring. I defy you to find a match in his NXT career that wasn’t a barnstormer and, importantly for the main roster, he is clear, confident and impassioned on the microphone. Sami has the potential to be a major face in WWE, which is something they are currently lacking. As well as Roman Reigns has come on in the last 6 months, he still receives a steady chorus of boos, and Cena splits a room worse than a 5th grade disco. A character that is a genuine and beloved babyface is nigh on impossible to create in this modern era. Only Daniel Bryan has reached those heady heights recently, but Zayn could fill this void should the bearded Yes Man never again be cleared for action. God forbid. He has a built in storyline for when he is permanently stationed on the main roster. Revisiting his rivalry with Kevin Owens makes total sense, and having them feud over a major title would be like printing money.
The NXT Champion has an undeniable presence in the ring. His PPV entrance alone is worth the admission fee, unless you happened to be in Row 10 of the stalls at NXT Takeover: London and couldn’t see a single second of it. Ahem. Much like Zayn, the Irishman can go, tells a great story in the ring and also has the potential to reach an elevated babyface status. His promos are often a little stunted as he has a habit of leaving approximately 25 breathy pauses per sentence in his delectable Irish lilt. Hopefully the Raw audience will be less pedantic in their assessment. With rumours of the Bullet Club transitioning directly to the main roster sooner rather than later after their recent acquisition, we could see Balor either lead a powerful faction, or fight against it. Either way, it should be a fascinating year for The Demon.
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable
Go back and watch NXT Takeover: London. The power and veracity of the chants for these lads was incredible. I was in the midst of the singing, and it was utterly deafening. They are so over it’s almost worth redefining the term, and they’ve leapfrogged a bunch of NXT tag teams in the queue to make it to the big leagues. And that’s saying something, because the division is as stacked as a giant Jenga tower with abs. Their natural charisma and amateur background blend deliciously to form a truly winning combination, and although it would seem they may have to wait at least until the latter part of the year for a call up, we should certainly expect an NXT Tag Title run relatively soon.
Surely it’s just a matter of time until the purveyor of the side pony joins the rest of the Four Horsewomen on Raw and Smackdown? While she’s doing sterling work in NXT to elevate the other girls in the division and help plug the hole left by Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, she has the ability to be a major player away from Full Sail. However, with the hilarious mess Creative have got themselves into with the Divas, Bayley is probably more than happy to enjoy her success in NXT for a little while longer. When she does make the inevitable jump, if everyone does their jobs properly, alongside Sasha Banks she could very well end up as one of the most popular females in wrestling history. The worry is that her character will be butchered. Fingers, toes and other parts will be crossed that this isn’t the case.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Enzo and Big Cass don’t currently have an official tag team name. Let me bestow one upon them. PURE ENTERTAINMENT. Out of everyone on this list (so far!), they’re probably the weakest workers, but what they lack in technique they more than make up for in sheer, unadulterated entertainment. They are so catchphrase laden it’d make The Rock proud. It’s as if they’ve watched tapes of Rocky, Chris Jericho, the New Age Outlaws and even Scotty 2 Hotty doing the Worm and thought “let’s use what these guys did, double it and catchphrase the living crap out of our mic time”. And it’s worked. The audience know their entire intro and perform it with them, and then together they literally spell out an entirely fictitious word in the world’s weirdest collaborative spelling bee, all the while smiling and laughing from ear to ear. It’s glorious. With Enzo in particular, thanks to his certifiably insane hair styles and dress sense, it’s impossible to take your eyes off him. If allowed to roam free on Raw, they could easily rival New Day for entertainment value, and if they get put in a feud with the Unicorns, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reduced to a weeping, melted pile of happy mush.
I don’t want it to happen. I despise the man. But everybody else here is a face, and they’ll have to bring up a heel from NXT at some point. Corbin is the likeliest choice. Even Apollo Crews struggled to get a match out of him at the last Takeover, and while I’d much rather include the Apollo Nation leader in the next batch to move on up, I think Corbin is a worryingly decent shout to be included in the Royal Rumble. In fairness to the man, his character is solid, but his matches aren’t in the same league as those around him. Still, I have the feeling the company are high on him, despite his freakish and inhuman belly button of doom.
Tags: apollo crews, Baron Corbin, bayley, Break The Walls Down, Chad Gable, Colin Cassady, enzo amore, Finn Balor, Jason Jordan, NXT, sami zayn