NXT has certainly been promoted as a third roster brand, stemming from their USA debut in September on 2019. Just a couple of weeks later, NXT started competing head to head with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), on October 2.
Since NXT is being promoted as a third major WWE brand alongside Raw and SmackDown, the brand has been heavy featured on television, including being the premiere brand on the Survivor Series pay-per-view. This also included former NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler defeating Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley in a triple threat match.
With NXT now being featured on weekly television, will the black and yellow brand now be a part of the Superstar Shake-up? According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, “Who knows. They don’t even know.”
The Superstar Shake-up typically occurs a week after WrestleMania. Unlike the WWE Draft, the way that viewers know that someone has defected to another brand is the person actually appearing without a formal announcement from an executive or General Manager.
Currently, the NXT Women’s Championship is expected to be a part of the WrestleMania 36 card, with Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair deciding to choose Rhea Ripley instead of the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion. This championship match being featured on WrestleMania could be the launch of someone from Raw or SmackDown defecting to NXT during the Shakeup expected to occur again this year following WrestleMania.
Since the launch of NXT on the USA Network, former Universal and Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor returned to his black and yellow roots. The former NXT Champion returned to the brand as a babyface during the live events, but shocked the audience by turning heel on Johnny Gargano on an episode of NXT television.
This feud between Gargano and Balor has resulted in a match between the two at the upcoming NXT TakeOver: Portland pay-per-view. Before Balor’s return, he was feuding with “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, and lost to him at SummerSlam 2019.