The next 3 big stars performing in WWE NXT

With so many stars exiting WWE NXT for the main roster, there is a new cream of the crop group that is destined to be stars.

Carmelo Hayes Jan 2.jpg
Carmelo Hayes Jan 2.jpg /
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WWE NXT continues to groom new superstars for the main roster every week. Recently, we've seen Tiffany Stratton, Bron Breakker, and Tyler Bate all get moved to the main roster and all on Smackdown. Bate has already made an impact in a tag team alongside Pete Dunne, and Breakker has participated in a couple of squash matches. Meanwhile, Stratton is likely on the road to her WrestleMania debut after a tremendous showing in the women's Elimination Chamber match a few weeks ago.

One of the reasons to enjoy NXT is watching young up-and-coming wrestlers blossom into superstars and three superstars are next to move to the main roster.

Carmelo Hayes

Speaking honestly, after his feud with Trick Williams is concluded, his time in NXT is likely over. He's already held the NXT North American Championship twice, had a memorable reign as the NXT Champion, and has gone back to the arrogant heel Carmelo Hayes he once was before his babyface run. Hayes may be hated more now than ever before.

In terms of character development and in-ring ability, Hayes is a step ahead of every other male superstar on NXT. More than likely, Hayes' last match on the NXT brand will be at NXT Stand & Deliver next month against his former partner Trick Williams. He's already had matches on both Raw and Smackdown and even participated last year in a Tournament for the United States Championship's number one contender (advanced to the Semi-Finals). He has been ready for quite some time, but a match against his longtime ally turned enemy is the perfect curtain call.

Roxanne Perez

Much like Hayes, Roxanne Perez' last match may also be at Stand & Deliver next month. Currently, "The Prodigy" has been living up to the name is in a feud with NXT Women's Champion Lyra Valkyria after a recent heel turn. Out of every superstar currently on NXT, Perez has had the most impressive run. Going back to April 2022 when she made her debut on NXT Level Up, she showcased her abilities instantly.

Moving quickly up the ranks, just a couple of months later, Perez won the 2022 NXT Women's Breakout Tournament by defeating Stratton in the finals and earned a title opportunity. She used her opportunity to chase the NXT Women's Tag Team Championships with Cora Jade, which they were successful in defeating Toxic Attraction.

Later that year in December, Perez won the Iron Survivor Challenge to earn a show at the NXT Women's Championship just to shockingly defeat longtime champion Mandy Rose for the title.

To this day, Perez has never been pinned or submitted to lose that championship. Indi Hartwell won the title in a ladder match with multiple women, which was then vacated and won by Stratton, won by Becky Lynch, and now in the hands of Valkyria. Perez has a new fire in her that wants the title back that was hers and brings a new sadistic side to her character. Expecting Perez to face Valkyria at NXT Stand & Deliver to settle this feud once and for all, it will likely be her last PPV as part of the NXT roster.

Ilja Dragunov

Ilja Dragunov has been on a tear during his tenure on NXT, and there aren't many opponents left to challenge him. At least any challengers that make it believable for him to drop the title. Only Williams or if he stays long enough, possibly Oba Femi. But, Dragunov won't be on NXT long enough for that to happen. Once a NXT UK Champion, it was Dragunov's destiny to win the NXT title as well once the two companies were combined. He did so back in September at NXT No Mercy in a match against Hayes that in hindsight was one of the best matches in 2023.

Leading up to this, Dragunov already had one of the greatest matches of recent memory against Dijak as well, it is still talked about today. Banger after banger, and his current 170-plus days as NXT Champion, Dragunov is more than ready for the main roster. He will likely retain at NXT Stand & Deliver, but even if he does, I could see Williams defeating Hayes and finally getting his shot at Dragunov with no Hayes' distractions. Whatever the future holds for Dragunov, the main roster is in his view.