Anyone who reads my stuff knows that I’m a huge NXT fan. It’s the most exciting wrestling product on TV today and the characters are actually developed instead of just throwing them out there with something that doesn’t fit them. However, for some reason there’s a bad disconnect between the wrestlers’ time in NXT and their main roster debuts. This has been a problem for over a year now and it’s still the case today with one case in particular catching my attention.
Breeze was a far more in depth character than the rather generic Dalton and allowed Breeze to expand to new feuds and areas that he never would have been able to reach under his old persona. Now that he had an actual character, Breeze started to rise up the card and became a more featured performer than he had been in recent years.
Over the near year and a half, Breeze would become one of the most consistent talents in NXT, having good to excellent matches with anyone he faced. This included a few failed shots at the NXT Championship and a match against Japanese legend Jushin Thunder Liger in front of 14,000 people in Brooklyn. It was clear that Breeze was something special by this point and the fans were responding to him in kind.
After several months of waiting, Breeze finally made his WWE main roster debut on “Smackdown”, October 22, 2015. After starting a feud with Dolph Ziggler, Breeze made his in ring debut in the WWE World Title tournament on “Monday Night Raw”, November 9, 2015. Breeze lost his first match to Dean Ambrose and in the month since then, his overall record is 4-4.
Breeze won the initial match against Ziggler at “Survivor Series 2015” but lost the rematch on “Monday Night Raw”, November 30, 2015. As soon as Ziggler’s music hit and it was clear that we were getting a rematch, I knew that Breeze was losing for the simple reason of that’s how WWE works more often than not: as soon as someone gets a win, it’s almost a guarantee that they’re going to drop the rematch so that everyone is even and we can get the precious trilogy that everyone is clamoring for.
However in the case of Breeze, things are even worse. Breeze is a newcomer to the main roster and has only had a handful of matches since his debut. Now he’s already lost his rematch with Ziggler and is back to losing as many matches as he’s won and for what? To make sure that Breeze doesn’t become a runaway train that is going to take over the roster when WWE isn’t ready for him yet?
Unfortunately this sort of a problem isn’t unique for Breeze. There are very few cases of someone coming up from NXT and being anything more than just another name on the main roster. Let’s look at a few quick examples from the last year or so.
Ascension – Oh dear. Just oh dear. Above all else, this might be the worst treatment that anyone has received. Ascension dominated NXT, holding the Tag Team Titles a day shy of a full year. They made their (full time) main roster debut on “Monday Night Raw”, December 29, 2014 by beating the Miz and Damien Mizdow. Things were looking promising, but less than a month after debuting, they got beaten up by the combined forces of the New Age Outlaws and the Acolytes, the youngest of whom is Road Dogg at age 45. Ascension fell through the floor and became jobbers, eventually acting as Stardust’s glorified lackeys.
Adam Rose – If there was ever a more perfect choice for an opening act that could have thrived for the better part of ever, this was it. Rose could have come out with his party, beaten up a low level villain who said this was supposed to be serious and then danced away as the crowd had a great time. Instead he was teaming with and then feuding against a bunny. Now he’s a heel doing a gossip segment that isn’t likely to make it through the end of the year. So much for his career after that big spotlight on the ESPN special a few months back.
Divas Revolution – This is kind of a borderline option but it’s taken four months for the whole thing to go anywhere. Somewhere between being the most entertaining female wrestling this country has seen in years and debuting on the main roster, Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch forgot that they had personalities and could be interesting. It’s gotten better now that the stupid teams have been dropped (well mostly at least) but there’s still a long way to go.
Now of course there are a bunch of exceptions to the rule (Neville, Wyatt Family, Kevin Owens and others) but there are too many instances of people being brought up and just falling apart. Unfortunately, it seems that the Breeze results are becoming more of the norm instead of someone coming in and hitting the ground running like the Wyatts or Owens.
Here’s the thing: WWE decided that these new acts are worth something by developing them for years, but now it’s decided that they’re worth turning into any run of the mill people on the roster. You don’t need to turn them into the new top stars on the roster (because that wouldn’t work) but maybe it’s time to treat them as something more important.
At this point, the ratings are tanking and the fans just aren’t interested in what the company is presenting right now. People keep talking about NXT being the future, but if the best they can do is having a guy who has worked harder in NXT than anyone else trade wins with Dolph freaking Ziggler of all people, then the future is nowhere near as bright as it should be.
NXT isn’t the saving grace of WWE, but if the wrestlers called up are supposed to mean something, maybe WWE should actually treat them like something important. Having Tyler Breeze be any other midcarder or the Ascension be cannon fodder for a pair of mostly retired teams or having most of the Four Horsewomen show up and have to change everything about what made them work for the sake of the Bellas and Alicia Fox isn’t the answer though and it’s getting more and more annoying to see every night.
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