NXT is so teeming with great talent that WWE would be wise to find a way to infuse its developmental system with its main roster.
With the members of The Shield causing their special brand of havoc, Big E Langston in Dolph Ziggler's corner and Bo Dallas making his mark on Royal Rumble 2013, it's clear that WWE is confident in the talent NXT is producing.
Let's get more of a taste it now.
Integrating NXT and WWE helps add a dose of excitement and freshness to WWE. It also helps NXT talent become more visible before they're eventually called up on a full-time basis.
How best to bleed the minor leagues with the major leagues? Start with the way WWE has already done just that.
Make the Royal Rumble NXT Tournament a Tradition
Before Royal Rumble 2013, WWE hosted the equivalent of a play-in game.
NXT's best battled on the Royal Rumble pre-show in a single-elimination tournament. The winner of that eight-man event earned a slot in the Royal Rumble.
This was a brilliant move.
It can easily be made into an annual tradition. The Royal Rumble features any number of surprise entrants. Giving an NXT star one of those spots gives them instant exposure in a low-pressure environment.
WWE didn't ask Bo Dallas to start off with a main event match but, instead, a match where he could lean on 29 other guys. He made a name for himself by ousting (and angering) Wade Barrett, even if the momentum soon waned.
This begs to be done again.
One NXTer a year would get a chance to shine. One NXTer would be the underdog whose every success will be a thrilling surprise.
Most WWE pay-per-view pre-shows are 10 minutes of match and 20 minutes of hype. WWE can surely streamline the promo part of the equation, making room for a short match between NXT stars.
A match between, say, Leo Kruger and Xavier Woods has little drawing power but would dazzle fans with both men's talents.
If folks are already tuned into the pre-show to see the main roster match, they will, by default, get a sample of the NXT product.
This could even be a taped match so the NXT guys and girls don't have to necessarily travel with the main roster.
It's a small investment of time and energy that could eventually pay off in a big way.
Let the WWE Universe taste the NXT flavor, and they're likely to hunger for more.
Another way to offer a peek into the NXT world is to send one superstar from the main roster down to WWE's developmental system every once in a while as part of a storyline.
Perhaps someone on a losing streak is sent down to work on his game. Perhaps an authority figure wishes to punish someone he doesn't like.
Either way, Raw or SmackDown could cut to NXT at Full Sail University during the broadcast to watch that outcast in action. SmackDown makes more sense because it is taped, while showing it during Raw would take the live audience out of the equation.
Someone with very little going on right now, like Zack Ryder, could be sent down for a taped match against Adrian Neville or Kassius Ohno.
If Ryder wins, he earns his spot back in WWE. If he loses, he must stay in NXT to earn his way out.
This move has WWE fans getting a look at NXT. It gives NXT stars a chance to show what they can do against main roster guys. Having them go against guys like Ryder offers the intrigue of the unknown.
Merging NXT and WWE strengthens both products.
It brings the future closer to the present. When John Cena gets old and CM Punk hangs it up, WWE is going to need the stars in NXT to step in. Beginning the transition now is the best move.
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