After the aftermath of the WWE brand draft, NXT lost a plethora of superstars to Raw and Smackdown. Since then, the brand has still managed to improve and has turned a full corner.
The WWE Draft took some top-level talent from NXT, including Indi Hartwell (who at the time was the NXT Women’s Champion), Katana Chance & Kayden Carter (former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions), Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn (the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions at the time), Grayson Waller (who was just in a feud for the NXT Championship) plus many more. These superstars were certainly the cream of the crop of the brand at the time.
In addition to that, Pretty Deadly, Zoey Stark, JD McDonagh, Odyssey Jones, Jinder Mahal, Indus Sher, and Cameron Grimes were moved to other shows. Initially, I thought this was too much talent to lose and the brand could have benefited from staying in Orlando a while longer, but WWE didn’t think so.
In hindsight, this forced the brand to look ahead to the next crop of superstars to build. Current NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes is the face of the brand at the moment and has thrived in the “Him Era.” Hayes is making a name for himself on both NXT and in WWE as a whole. WWE has not only had superstars come to NXT (which we will get to in a moment) but also Hayes has been seen on SmackDown and had a match against Finn Balor on Raw as well.
The show also has a top heel on the brand and that happens to be the current NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton. Thus far, she has thrived in her role as the leader of a stacked women’s division. The division has a variety of talented women, but has struggled to find a leader of them all — Stratton has become just that.
NXT continues the mission to build up its current roster with superstars like Ilja Dragunov, Bron Breakker, Cora Jade, Lyra Valkyria, Roxanne Perez, and many more. But what has helped it enhance its product, even more, is adding veterans like Baron Corbin, Mustafa Ali, Dana Brooke, and current North American Champion Dominik Mysterio.
Hear me out, generally, I’m not a fan of this — at all. “Dirty Dom” needed a title. The heat he receives from the crowd every time he steps foot in a WWE ring is all-time heel worthy. He is the most-hated wrestler in all of wrestling right now. However, he’s not World Title worthy, and the two main roster mid-card titles are both held by heels, so that only left the North American Title for him to win.
Elsewhere, the brand is creating endless opportunities for its superstars. New up-and-coming superstars like Meta-Four, Eddy Thorpe, and Kelani Jordan are finding themselves on television more.
NXT has turned a full corner and has once again become the brand where the opportunities are there to make a name for yourself as a wrestler. Which is what the show is supposed to be all about.