Get To Know The WWE Bound NXT Superstars
It was announced on Raw this past week that there would be some changes by the McMahon family including new faces. There was a promotional video shown on both Raw and Smackdown Live highlighting all those superstars on the verge of coming to Raw or Smackdown Live. Here’s some information on those superstars if you’re not familiar with them.
EC3 is no stranger to the WWE landscape as he wrestled in FCW, NXT, and WWE as Derrick Bateman from 2009-2013. It was after he was released in 2013 where EC3 was born. EC3 joined TNA/Impact and quickly rose to the main event scene. After being spotted in the crowd at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia, the rumors started and sure enough EC3 was going to NXT. EC3 was one of the six competitors at NXT Takeover: New Orleans for the brand new NXT North American Championship that was won by Adam Cole. Over the course of the year EC3 was picking up wins, though he finally suffered his first singles pinfall loss to Johnny Gargano in June. EC3 then ended up feuding with the Velveteen Dream which resulted in their solid match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4. EC3 the past few months has been feuding with the Undisputed Era. After defeating Adam Cole, he was knocked out of action by Bobby Fish. EC3 made his return weeks later and got his revenge against Fish. NX3 didn’t exactly set the NXT world on fire compared to many other talents that remain still. EC3 didn’t record a single Takeover victory or hold a championship. He does however have the look Vince likes and the ability on the mic to entertain. EC3 definitely won’t be a major champion, but he could potentially be a tag team or midcard champion.
“The Freak” has been getting hype videos for weeks now before all this news broke so we already knew he was coming. Nobody yet knows though where Sullivan is going to end up. Sullivan has been signed for a few years, but made his television debut in 2017. Sullivan used to get random tag team partners and after losing matches he would attack his partners. Sullivan then went on a tear in singles matches. After watching Sullivan rip apart opponents, Kassius Ohno wanted a chance. Ohno was defeated by Sullivan at NXT Takeover: War Games 2017. William Regal was in search for an opponent for Andrade “Cien” Almas at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia and had a series of matches to find a number one contender. After Sullivan defeated Roderick Strong, he qualified for a fatal four way match involving Aleister Black, Killian Dain, and Johnny Gargano. Gargano of course won the match which led Sullivan to continue on his reign of terror. Sullivan competed in the six way ladder match at NXT Takeover: New Orleans for the brand new NXT North American Championship won by Adam Cole. Sullivan had a rivalry with Killian Dain since the fatal four way match before NXT Takeover: Philadelphia. Sullivan finally was able to defeat Dain in a no disqualification match. Sullivan then had his sights on the NXT Champion and challenged Aleister Black for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover: Chicago II. Sullivan failed at his championship conquest and was pinned for the first time in NXT. Sullivan would continue destroying his opponents including the Velveteen Dream after Dream was given the NXT Championship match at NXT Takeover: War Games II instead of him. At Survivor Series is when Sullivan’s video packages were being featured meaning he was heading to the main roster. Sullivan definitely will get the monster treatment meaning he will go on a run of squash matches. The question is will his run get him anywhere or will it end up falling short in the end? Many fans are still waiting for the “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman to finally get his run at the top so I’m doubting Lars “The Freak” will get one.
Originally dubbed as Nikki Glencross when she debuted in 2016, she quickly shredded the Glen part of her name and became Nikki Cross when she aligned herself with Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Sawyer Fulton as Sanity. Fulton of course was replaced by Killian Dain and the rest is history. Cross didn’t waste any time propelling herself into a pursuit for the NXT Women’s Championship as she challenged Asuka along with Billie Kay and Peyton Royce in a fatal four way at NXT Takeover: San Antonio. Cross then joined her Sanity teammates in a victory over rival Ruby Riott, Kassius Ohno, Roderick Strong, and Tye Dillinger at NXT Takeover: Orlando. William Regal then held a battle royal to find a number one contender for Asuka at NXT Takeover: Chicago. With Cross, Ruby Riott, and Ember Moon being the final three. Asuka decided to take matters in her own hands and destroy all her competitors throwing the match out. Originally NXT Takeover: Chicago was going to be a fatal four way, but since Ember Moon was injured, it was a triple threat. Asuka managed to defeat Cross and Riott, but Nikki wasn’t done chasing Asuka. A three way elimination match for the title was booked with Riott getting eliminated. Asuka and Cross however brawled backstage to the point where the match ended up getting thrown out. This led to a Last Woman Standing match between Asuka and Nikki Cross for the NXT Women’s Championship which Asuka survived. Even though Cross wasn’t able to get championship gold for herself, she made sure Sanity did at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III helping them defeat the Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championship. With Asuka moving to the main roster and the NXT Women’s Championship vacated, another chance was born for Cross. Cross went on to win a battle royal to qualify for the fatal four way match at NXT Takeover: War Games against Ember Moon, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sane. Moon went on to win the NXT Women’s Championship leaving Cross short again.
While 2017 was a big year for Nikki Cross, 2018 started off rather quiet for her. Sure she was picking up wins, but she ended up losing her Sanity teammates to Smackdown Live during the Superstar Shakeup leaving her behind. This of course angered alot of fans on why they’d leave her down in NXT being alot of women she feuded with such as Asuka, Ember Moon, and Ruby Riott got called up. Nikki Cross though made one more run at the NXT Women’s Championship held by Shayna Baszler at NXT Takeover: Chicago II. Unfortunately for Cross she wasn’t able to defeat Baszler. Nikki Cross then played a pivotal part in the who attacked Aleister Black storyline. She told Black that it was Johnny Gargano that attacked him which led to Gargano’s wife Candice LeRae to confront Cross. Cross managed to defeat LeRae in what may very well be her final feud in NXT. Nikki Cross did have a taste of the main roster though back in November when she accepted an open challenge by Becky Lynch on Smackdown Live. One could only assume and hope Nikki ends up on Smackdown Live being the rest of Sanity is there, but never rule out anything when it comes to WWE. Cross will definitely be a great addition to the women’s roster whichever show she ends up on. Even though it’s quite surprising she never had a run as NXT Women’s Champion, she definitely has been a major player in the NXT Women’s division the last few years.
After starting in NXT as more of an enhancement talent, she finally made her mark in the first Mae Young Classic tournament. She defeated Taynara Conti in the first round, but fell to Toni Storm in the second. Evans eventually turned heel looking down on the rest of the women in NXT. She then started feuding with babyfaces such as Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai. To be honest this callup was rather surprising. She hasn’t competed in an NXT Takeover events let alone a televised title match. I definitely don’t see Lacey Evans making an impact and basically I’m going to compare this to a Dana Brooke type callup. Evans would’ve benefited staying in NXT for probably another year.
The team of Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight have been teaming for a few years, but really didn’t pick up steam until recently. They had some decent showings in 2017 taking care of enhancement talents and even challenged the Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championship in a failed attempt in the summer of 2017. They ended up with feuding with Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss for the rest of 2017 and early 2018. Heavy Machinery then moved onto a feud with The Mighty. Recently Heavy Machinery set their eyes on the Undisputed Era’s NXT Tag Team Championship and have a title match coming up. However with a main roster call coming, I definitely don’t see Heavy Machinery taking the hardware away from the champs. It’ll be interesting to see where Heavy Machinery falls when they arrive to the main roster with no Takeover appearances or title reigns among them. Would this team benefit from staying in NXT longer? Hard to say. I think this callup was a desperation to fill depth in the tag team division, well at least Raw’s. Dozovic tweeted Tuesday night about coming to Smackdown Live, but was quickly squashed by his partner Knight that they don’t know where they’re going yet.
It will be interesting to see where these NXT superstars end up and how they’ll fair in the big shark pool of WWE. I still think Raw and Smackdown needs to shake their rosters up with some trades among themselves and I wouldn’t rule out sending some talents back down to NXT as well if they’re not being utilized on the main roster. What do you think the future holds for these callups? Was there someone you would’ve rather seen called up? Let me know on Twitter @ChairmanSV and thanks for reading.