NXT has become a phenomenon all on its own over the past few years and this is because Triple H has been able to sign and create quite a few stars down on the developmental brand and has been able to nurture them through onto the main roster.
While many of the stars who are signed to NXT are already well-known on the Independent Scene, it seems that Triple H has managed to craft a lot of these stars in his own way and kick start their careers. Many fans have noted that The Game has done a fantastic job down in NXT with the star power he has been given and can’t wait until the former WWE Champion is given the chance to take over the creative talent on the main roster.
The following is a list of 15 of the biggest stars that WWE currently has who were crafted by Triple H down in NXT and given a new lease on life. It seems their time in NXT really revitalized their careers and has allowed them to climb the ranks in WWE ever since.
15. Big E (Langston)
Big E Langston was introduced to WWE as a bodyguard for Dolph Ziggler when he was still World Heavyweight Champion, but Big E is a former NXT Champion in his own right and was able to defeat Seth Rollins to become the Champion to begin with.
Big E has since been able to make history by becoming one of the longest reigning Tag Team Champions with his fellow New Day members as well as being a current SmackDown Tag Team Champion. Big E got his start in NXT and it seems that the foundations that were laid have helped him to remain relevant in WWE over the past few years and allowed him to turn The New Day gimmick into one of the best in the company.
14. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were already well-known to the wrestling world when they made their way to NXT, Zayn made a name for himself as El Generico before he hung up his mask and became NXT Champion on Triple H’s brand.
Zayn and Owens picked up where they left off on the independent scene by rehashing their rivalry in NXT over the NXT Championship, a rivalry that has continued on the main roster. Even though Zayn isn’t currently being given the opportunities that he deserves on SmackDown Live, Zayn has the potential to be one of the biggest stars that WWE has and he has proved this on a number of occasions, most notably against John Cena as part of their US Open Challenge.
13. Tye Dillinger
The Perfect Ten was made in NXT. He worked hard on his character and finally managed to get it over, so much so that WWE made the decision to put him into the Royal Rumble match at number 10 earlier this year.
Dillinger was finally given the nod following WrestleMania and was moved to SmackDown Live, but it seems that he is one of the stars who has been lost amongst the shuffle lately. Dillinger has recently been brought in a feud with fellow NXT star Aiden English and finally seems to be finding his place on WWE TV. Dillinger was one of NXT’s biggest stars a few months ago and WWE should have maximized on this.
12. Tyler Breeze
It’s a shame that Prince Pretty hasn’t come up to the main roster and been able to continue what he began down in NXT. Tyler remained in NXT for so long that many of the WWE Universe didn’t think he would ever be called up to the main roster. His gimmick worked down there and so did the character he put into it, but this all fell apart when Breeze made his way to SmackDown.
His feud with Dolph Ziggler didn’t do much to help him either and ever since it seems as though WWE has been struggling to put Breeze in a decent position on the main roster. Despite this, Breeze has proved that he can work with whatever he is given and along with Fandango, The Fashion Police have become a huge hit with the WWE Universe.
11. Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns was known as an NFL star before he made the decision to join the family business and got his start in FCW, which later became known as NXT. Reigns didn’t appear much on NXT but his presence meant that Vince McMahon and Triple H preferred him to be added to The Shield over Chris Hero, who was also pitched to partner Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Reigns has become one of the biggest stars in the company over the past few years and it seems that being a three time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Royal Rumble winner and having main evented WrestleMania consecutively since WrestleMania 31, have proved that WWE made the right choice back in 2012. Roman’s start down in NXT seemed to have pushed him to where he is now.
10. Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss revealed that her family actually laughed at her when she revealed that she wanted to be a wrestler, but she sent her video into WWE and was signed to their NXT brand where she was given the training she needed to make it in the company.
Alexa then led Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake to NXT Tag Team Championships before the team split up and she was drafted to the main roster. Alexa has made history already by holding both the SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships, which has proved that WWE was right to take her on despite not having any experience in a wrestling ring only a few short years before.
The Bulgarian Brute Alexander Rusev was introduced to the WWE Universe on the NXT brand where his undefeated streak truly began. This was where he was first partnered with Lana as well, which lead to a successful and lengthy run on both NXT and the main roster for the duo.
Sadly, Rusev’s streak was ended by John Cena and creative then left him in a position where he was both part of The League of Nations and then taken off WWE TV after an absolute beating at the hands of The Big Show. Rusev has a chance right now to build himself back up on the SmackDown roster after he was defeated once again by Cena just a few days ago at Battleground.
8. Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura was an absolutely huge signing for WWE given that he was already known to the Wrestling Universe in Japan and WWE wanted to cash in on this by bringing him over to NXT.
Nakamura’s first match against Sami Zayn proved that the company had made the right decision to bring him in when it was considered to be one of the best matches last year. Nakamura went on to feud with Kevin Owens and then Bobby Roode over the NXT Championship before he was brought up to the SmackDown roster where he has since proved that he could become a main eventer on the Blue Brand in the near future after decent matches against the likes of Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin.
7. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was well-known to the WWE Universe when he made his way over to NXT but he was known under the name Kevin Steen. Triple H managed to allow Owens to stay true to the character that he had been portraying for a number of years when he brought him to WWE.
Owens is a former NXT Champion, Universal Champion, and United States Champion and he seems to be proving a lot of people wrong on the main roster, especially since there have been reports that Vince McMahon didn’t think that Owens would become much because of his size. Triple H created a star down in NXT with Kevin Owens and he has managed to continue that trend ever since.
6. Finn Balor
Known as Prince Devitt, Finn Balor made a name for himself all over the world, most notably in Japan, before he was signed to WWE back in 2014. Finn is a former NXT Champion and was given the opportunity to become the first ever Universal Champion back in 2016.
Balor may have taken a few months away from WWE after suffering a nasty injury back at SummerSlam last year, but it seems that he has now returned and is in the best physical shape of his life. Balor has what it takes to be a huge star on Monday Night Raw, but given the amount of star power the show has, it is no surprise that right now he has been pushed down the ranks somewhat.
5. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin is a former football player and boxer and he decided to make the switch over to WWE and was signed to their NXT brand. Baron didn’t stay in NXT for very long before he was called up to the main roster last year as part of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32, a match that Corbin went on to win.
It seems that the company have huge plans for their current Mr. Money in the Bank, but don’t want to push him too fast too soon. Baron’s most recent feud with Shinsuke Nakamura has proved that he could be slightly out of his depth right now, but it’s nothing that a few more mid-card feuds won’t settle. We could see Baron as a World Champion before the end of the year.
4. Charlotte Flair
Considering she’s the daughter of Ric Flair, it’s quite a shock that it took Charlotte so long to make it to NXT, but when she did, she played a huge role in the beginning of the Women’s Revolution along with the three other women who made up the four horsewomen.
Charlotte has made so much history since she made her debut on the main roster alongside Sasha Banks where she has been able to compete inside Hell in a Cell, an Iron woman match, and the duo have even been able to main event Raw. Charlotte was given her chance on the NXT roster and it seems that she has run with the chance and been able to live up to her families name over the past few years.
3. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt is perhaps the most underrated WWE star that is being used right now, but much like many other stars in WWE right now, he got his start in NXT which was where the family was originally put together.
Bray and his brother Bo Dallas were in NXT before and Bray was also part of The Nexus once when he was known as Husky Harris. Bo is a former NXT Champion and shockingly was much more successful than his brother in NXT, but the roles have been reversed since Bray was promoted to the main roster and he is a former WWE Champion and is currently feuding with NXT Champion Finn Balor over on the Raw roster.
2. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe is a TNA legend. He has been on the wrestling circuit for a number of decades and finally, it seems that Triple H decided to sign Joe to the NXT roster where he proved that, despite what Vince thought about him being “just a fat Samoan,” he is actually a talented wrestler.
Joe is a former two-time NXT Champion and allowed the division to step up somewhat during his time on the NXT roster before he was called up to the main roster as a destructive force on the side of Triple H in his feud with Seth Rollins. Joe is perhaps the only star who is capable of defeating Brock Lesnar at this point, so it will be interesting to see if he is given the Universal Championship in the near future.
1. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins was the inaugural NXT Champion. Despite already being known as Tyler Black in Ring of Honor, Triple H saw something in Seth Rollins when he made his debut and decided that he was the perfect man to lead his roster to the place where he wanted it to go in the early years.
Rollins has since proved that Triple H was right to push him forward since he was the stand out star of The Shield, is a former World Champion and has recently managed to overcome the man who claimed that he created him at WrestleMania. Seth Rollins may well have been Triple H’s best creation and he now continues to push for someone who can hold a candle to the original champion.
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