The first WWE Raw after WrestleMania is normally known for surprises, and there was one at the close of the first hour as NXT star Apollo Crews made his main-roster debut Monday.
Crews' first appearance on the main show was a one-on-one match against Tyler Breeze.
The two up-and-coming stars went at it in a five-minute match, and this was WWE's way of introducing the athletic Crews to the WWE Universe.
After hitting his trademark Standing Moonsault, Crews delivered his Spin-Out Powerbomb to Breeze for the three-count.
On Monday, Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported a number of NXT stars were set to make their main-roster debuts. Baron Corbin was expected to after winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on Sunday, but Crews was the first surprise to make his Raw debut.
WWE and ECW legend Tommy Dreamer was happy to see WWE call Crews up to the main roster:
Black Sports Online thought that while Crews is a fantastic physical specimen, he needs to get better on the microphone:
Crews stormed onto the NXT scene the minute he debuted at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. He won a No. 1 contender's Battle Royal for the NXT Championship on Oct. 14, earning a shot against champion Finn Balor. However, Corbin interfered, and Balor won by disqualification.
Balor went on to have a lengthy feud with Corbin, which culminated at NXT TakeOver: London to close the year.
Although he never got another shot at Balor for the NXT title, Crews fought Balor on Feb. 3 in one of the best matches of the year thus far. In the end, Balor won, but Crews earned his and the NXT audience's respect that night.
Crews has the ability to be an entertaining competitor in the ring and has shown he can put on a great match for a long period of time. With his quick call-up, though, it may take some time before WWE finds the appropriate opponent for Crews.
Expect him to take part in more quick matches like he did Monday, but that shouldn't last long.
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