WWE NXT and its incredible athletes will be in prime position to shine brighter than they ever have before when they arrive on USA Network Wednesday night for a new two-hour time slot starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Those who haven't been keeping up with the developmental brand in recent years should prepare to be blown away. Countless competitors have been called up to Raw and SmackDown over the years, yet NXT never ceases to replenish the pot and bring in top prospects from across the world and its Performance Center.
The star-studded roster has led fans to question who will be positioned as the face of the franchise heading into its USA Network debut. Thankfully, there are plenty of names to choose from.
The most obvious answer would be Johnny Gargano, who has been at the heart of the brand for the past four years. From former NXT champion to multi-time winner of the Match of the Year award, he has done it all with the brand and has said he doesn't plan on going anywhere despite rumors of an imminent main roster call-up.
Then again, he likely won't be featured at the forefront of the franchise any time soon. He lost the NXT Championship in June, and after failing to regain the gold from Adam Cole at TakeOver: Toronto II, he seems to be settling into a midcard feud with Shane Thorne for the foreseeable future.
Depending on where he's needed most, he could be bound for Raw or SmackDown in the WWE draft on October 11 and 14. Either way, he isn't long for NXT, so there's no reason to build around him as the face of the brand.
Gargano is far from the only Superstar who would make sense for the lead role, though, as Adam Cole would be another excellent choice. He has also cut his teeth in NXT for over two years now and has had a remarkable run there, including capturing the NXT Championship in the summer.
Cole and The Undisputed Era have been the glue that has held the brand together throughout 2018 and 2019 with their show-stealing matches, championship reigns and overall awesomeness.
The four-man faction has been one of the best things to happen to NXT in years and has brought a lot of new eyes to the product. That will likely continue once the show begins airing weekly.
Although Cole would be the best bet for right now, fans shouldn't sleep on Matt Riddle, either.
Similar to Cole, Riddle has been booked like a star since his debut last October. He has only two televised losses on record and has been a blast to watch in the ring regardless of who he's up against.
He has yet to win gold in NXT, but it's only a matter of time before he does. Unless he's brought up to Raw or SmackDown as a surprise pick in the draft, he should be one of the featured faces on the developmental brand alongside Cole going forward.
Tomasso Ciampa, who is currently out injured, would be a dark horse to lead the brand. He is main roster-ready but has also expressed interest in staying put. The former NXT champ is due back sooner rather than later and could be in the running for the role as well.
Truth be told, it's possible NXT won't be centered around one individual but rather the roster as a whole. There are so many skilled Superstars in the system that it's only appropriate they share the spotlight together.
In addition to the current crop of competitors, keep an eye out for Superstars from the main roster potentially having runs in NXT, such as Kevin Owens, if the timing is right. Furthermore, NXT's most successful star for the next year may not have even arrived yet.
NXT airing on USA Network will give everyone on the show an opportunity to break out and gain unprecedented exposure. As exciting as it is now to be an NXT fan, the talent of tomorrow is about to take the brand to all-new heights on Wednesday nights.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.