Two major NXT stars have possibly wrestled their last matches for the Gold Brand ahead of their reported main roster debuts.
It was previously reported that Damian Priest was meant to appear on last week’s episode of Smackdown. Originally scheduled to debut in a main event segment involving Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens, Priest’s debut was scrapped, reportedly at the request of Owens and Reigns.
After NXT New Year’s Evil, it seems as if Priest’s main roster call-up has been postponed rather than cancelled completely. Mike Johnson of PWInsider has confirmed that last night’s match against Karrion Kross is currently believed to be Priest’s last NXT match before arriving on Smackdown.
Rhea Ripley is also expected to debut on Raw or Smackdown soon. Mike noted that Ripley’s New Year’s Evil bout against Raquel Gonzalez was reportedly her final match on the Gold Brand.
Here is the quote:
As we discussed on last night’s NXT Post-Game Audio for Elite subscribers, the current belief is that last night’s New Year’s Evil broadcast was planned to be the final NXT appearances for Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest and they each will be shifted to the main roster.
While things can always change based on the whims of Vince McMahon, Priest’s loss to Karrion Kross and Rhea’s loss to Raquel Gonzales were devised with the idea those were the end of the NXT chapters of their career.
As mentioned by Johnson, Priest and Ripley both losing their New Year’s Evil matches could confirm that the two stars have bade farewell to NXT.
Neither Ripley or Priest have been advertised for this Friday’s episode of Smackdown. With this report, there is a good chance we could see a debut this week on the Blue Brand.