5 Best & 5 Worst NXT Call-Ups

2 years ago by Adam Blampied

5 Best & 5 Worst NXT Call-Ups

Well ok, let’s talk about this shall we because Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ, even a week on I’m still steaming, STEAMING about the Karrion Kross call-up.

We’ll get into it in more detail deeper into the list (spoiler, it’s high on the list because of course it is) but God WWE is such a backwards company sometimes.

It is quite literally backwards to see stars see their stock rise when they GO BACK to the developmental brand, it’s so backwards to feel sorry for people leave developmental and venture to the land where the big bucks are made because we’re afraid that their drawing power will be diminished and it’s backwards because the company have occasionally demonstrated that they actually do know how to do this sometimes.

It’s a five worst list, but also a five best because sometimes WWE has proven they know exactly how to create new stars in a single night, oh boy this was a frustrating list to make, but here goes nothing.

To be clear, this isn’t a list about long-term call-ups, seeing NXT stars like Asuka slowly diminished over time, this is about the main roster debuts, the first few weeks, heck maybe even the first night.

I’m Adam hailing from partsFUNknown and here are the 5 Worst & 5 Best NXT Main Roster Debuts.

Worst 5. The Viking Raiders

Except that wasn’t their name was it. No it wasn’t. No it f**king wasn’t.

Prior to signing with WWE, the men now known as Ivar and Erik were Hanson and Rowe AKA, War Machine, which is a stupidly cool name, if a little provocative to Disney’s Lawyers, easily the most terrifying faction in all of entertainment. Rhodey says hi.

Perhaps understandably their names in NXT were changed, they were still Hanson and Rowe, but now they were War Raiders, which is harder to say out loud than you think it is, but hey it’s still good, it’s still good, they were undefeated, hugely dominant, put on tag classics with Black and Ricochet, the main roster thought, cool we’ll have them, debuted them, not as War Machine, not as War Raiders, but as … pause for dread … The Viking Experience.

It’s still good it’s still good, it’s gone, I know. (Simpsons ref) F**king… Viking Experience, ironically sounds like a ride at Disneyland, not even a good ride, like an Epcot ride.

And just like that, your dominant, undefeated former NXT Champs are a party city laughing stock. Good job.

In a rare case of WWE backing down under scrutiny, their names were changed AGAIN, to the Viking Raiders but the damage was done. Also, WWE then called their finisher the Viking Experience, because f**k us that’s why

Best 5. Baron Corbin

Poor Baron Corbin, I actually think what they’re doing with him at the moment, divorced dad showing up to his ex-wife’s wedding to her new partner and just eating a whole bunch of vol au vents and being sad, is pretty interesting, but hopes were once high for the Lone Wolf of NXT.

At WrestleMania 32, comfortably one of the worst WrestleManias, Bazza Corb Corb showed up in the Andre the Giant Memorial Midcard Purgatory, and then won the whole damn thing in a fairly pleasant shocker, finally dumping out Kane.

The Andre Battle Royal might have lost a whole bunch of its shine in the last few years, but hey this one made the main card, that’s gotta count for something right, and walking onto the main roster and in your very first match, winning a giant trophy with a legend on it by eliminating another legend to what was actually a pretty damn sizeable pop, that makes a hell of a statement. 

Worst 4. The Ascension

I don’t understand this one. I don’t understand it.

So as hard as it is to believe it if you’ve only seen the appropriately named Wasteland that the Ascension occupied on the main roster, but in NXT the Ascension were something.

They ruled the NXT tag division as champions for an entire calendar year, and got over as roughneck clubbing pair of german-tinged uberbastards.

They debuted on Raw in December 2014 and that was decent enough, they beat Miz and Mizdow in fairly short-order, but then WWE made a BAFFLING left turn with how they presented the team.

On only their second week on the main roster, Ascension started directly comparing themselves to other facepaint tag team legends, Demolition and the Road Warriors (which first of all is weird because the Road Warriors were called Legion of Doom in WWE but hey ho) but then commentary, particularly JBL went on and on about how The Ascension were a bin bag of s**t when compared to either team, mocked them for only beating jobbers and generally doing their best to bury them as hard as possible.

WHY? Why you bastards? The angle paid off a few weeks later with Ascension being humiliated by a bunch of legends, including JBL, to an annoying amount of crowd response, but ruining an NXT team long-term for a single nostalgic segment, WWE you’re f**king insane.

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