Nikki Cross Makes Main Roster Debut at WWE SmackDown Live, Confronts Becky Lynch

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

Nikki Cross made her WWE main roster debut Tuesday night on SmackDown Live.

Cross arrived to answer a challenge by SmackDown Live women's champion Becky Lynch.


Look who wants to take on #SDLive #WomensChampion @BeckyLynchWWE... @WWENXT's #TwistedSister and #SAnitY's own @NikkiCrossWWE! https://t.co/pd8XkjcDJo


Not sure if @BeckyLynchWWE is used to opponents quite like this... #SDLive @NikkiCrossWWE https://t.co/ZW0dfaZAcP

Cross' first match on SmackDown Live ended in defeat when she tapped out to Lynch's Dis-arm-her submission.

Cross joins Sanity stablemates Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain, who have already made the jump from NXT to the blue brand.

When Sanity debuted in June, many fans wondered why Cross hadn't joined them. Keeping her in NXT for a few more months was the smart move, though.

Her presence helped stabilize NXT's women's division, which had been gutted by a number of main roster promotions. Cross also benefited more from having a starring role on NXT than she would have by becoming a supporting player on SmackDown Live.

But the time has clearly come for Cross to make the jump, assuming she's now a full-time member of the main roster. With the spotlight on Shayna Baszler's rivalry with Kairi Sane and a number of talented women rising through the ranks, Cross had little to gain by staying at NXT.

Having said that, experiencing a breakthrough on SmackDown Live won't be easy. The track record of NXT women on the main roster is a mixed bag. Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks are obvious success stories, but Asuka, Bayley and Emma have all fallen short of expectations for one reason or another. The jury is still out on the likes of Ember Moon, Ruby Riott and The IIconics.

Having the rest of Sanity could help Cross hit the ground running on SmackDown Live.

The biggest concern is whether Cross gets to embrace the unique character that made her stand out so much in NXT. After joining the main roster, a number of NXT stars have lost the traits that made them popular with fans in the first place.

It's easy to envision a scenario where Cross is forced to conform more to WWE's style and winds up becoming just another wrestler in the women's division, which would be a waste of her in-ring talent and clear charisma.