From a quality standpoint, NXT has been WWE's best product for at least the last half-decade. The company's faith in the product was evidenced by its move off WWE Network and onto USA last year.
So for those who still want to call NXT the "developmental" brand? Johnny Gargano has a message: Knock it off.
"That's BS. That's complete garbage, and it's something that me and a lot of guys have worked to dispel for a very long time," Gargano told TMZ Sports. "Anybody out there that uses the words 'main roster' when talking about Raw and SmackDown, how about you watch the show on Wednesday night? You'll see the real main roster. You'll see the best wrestling show on the planet. You will see the best locker room on the planet led by me.
"That's what you will see on Wednesday night. So 'main roster,' 'developmental?' You're stupid if you use those words. You're stupid. Quit it."
It's worth noting Gargano was making the appearance in kayfabe, so he wasn't actually calling people idiots, even if his sentiment is likely felt by many in the NXT locker room. The product has been leaps and bounds ahead of Raw and SmackDown from a quality standpoint almost from the second NXT transitioned from game show to weekly episodic program.
Gargano's point about NXT no longer being "developmental" is even more prescient since the USA Network debut. NXT was part of Survivor Series for the first time, and Charlotte Flair chose to challenge for the NXT—not the Raw or SmackDown—championship at WrestleMania.
While WWE undoubtedly still views Raw and SmackDown as its tentpole brands and has to from a financial perspective, Gargano's right to take issue with anyone who downplays the impact or importance of NXT.