There has been a growing belief among wrestling fans that NXT, WWE’s developmental organization tasked with preparing potential Superstars for an eventual spot on the main roster, has become the superior brand in WWE. Recent live TakeOver specials have received rave critical reviews, including an event in Brooklyn on the Saturday before SummerSlam which sold out the 15,000 seat Barclays Center. NXT is currently on a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, which will culminate in a TakeOver special in London, inside another sold-out arena holding in excess of 10,000 fans. Last week, WWE announced that the next TakeOver will take place around WrestleMania, and also that NXT would be hitting the road for a tour through Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin in early 2016.
With that in mind, some have wondered whether certain NXT talents wouldn’t prefer to stay in the alleged “developmental” system as opposed to graduating to WWE proper. During an interview on the Sam Roberts Wrestling podcast in which he promoted NXT’s UK tour, NXT Champion Finn Balor offered his thoughts on leaving NXT for a spot on Monday Night Raw.
I really believe that what we’re doing here in the [WWE] Performance Center [and] what we’re doing with NXT is something that’s going to be remembered for years. I feel like to get quote, unquote called up to the main roster would be, maybe, like a step back for my career right [now]. Obviously, instant gratification, you get called up to the main roster, that’s great, but I think what we’re doing here in NXT will stand longer in history as kind of like a revolutionary period and to kind of pull myself out of that would be detrimental to my career in the long term.
Given what has happened to NXT graduates such as Tyler Breeze, Adam Rose, and Bo Dallas, perhaps Balor has a right to be concerned. Still, the main roster is where wrestlers can potentially get more exposure, fame, and money than staying in NXT. Is Balor really making the best decision for his career going forward?