LOP on Facebook LOP on Twitter LOP on Google Plus LOP on Youtube LOP's RSS Feed
News | Results | Columns | Forums

Home | Headlines | News | Results | Columns | Radio | Indy | Forums | Contact (Send in News & Results) | Bookmark | Share

Posted in: Chair Shots
Chair Shots Presents: The NXT to WWE Mid-Year Report Card
By Rob Simmons
Jun 9, 2014 - 9:35:07 AM

 photo ChairShots_zps40a9b317.png

Welcome back readers to the column that just won the Tony for Best Performance in a Musical- Chair Shots! What a fun time to be a wrestling fan huh? We’ve got the implosion of The Shield, a possible MITB match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, new potential signings for the WWE of Prince Devitt, KENTA, and Kevin Steen, and TNA drew less than 300 people to a show on a minor league baseball field in MD. One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong. Anyway, one of the things that have occurred in the last year or so is the emergence of NXT stars to the WWE Main Roster.

I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the stars that have risen in the past year (and change) and see how they’re doing. We’ll break them down into three categories; in-ring skills, promo ability, and overall impact to the main roster. From there we’ll come up with a final grade. So enough lollygagging around, let’s get this show on the road, in alphabetical order.

Dallas, Bo
In-ring talent- C-
Promo ability- B+
Overall impact to roster- C

Bo Dallas really hasn’t spent a lot of time on the main roster to date. He’s wrestled a few matches against other mid-card talent, but to date hasn’t really shown much in the ring. He still looks incredibly green; despite the amount of time he was in NXT, part of which he was the NXT champion. He’s not sharp in his moves, but that could play to his character of thinking he’s better than he really is. In terms of promos, Dallas makes me want to hit him in the face with a bricks, or a bag of bricks, or a truck. So for his character, he’s doing his job. You WANT to hate this guy, and guess what, I really do. So far it’s tough to determine if he’ll have any real impact on the main roster, so that’s why he gets a C at this point.

Overall Grade- C+

In-ring talent- C+
Promo ability- D
Overall impact to roster- C

Oh Emma, I’m at a complete loss as to what has gone wrong since your call-up from NXT. For those of you that are fans of NXT (hey Oliver!), you know what Emma can do in the ring. You also know that she’s actually pretty good on the microphone as well. But up until this point, we’ve seen NONE of that on the main roster. She’s been saddled as one half of a comedy act with Santino Marella, and was caught in a seemingly endless feud with Fandango and Layla. So far, I’m not even sure we’ve heard her speak, and she’s been really limited in what she’s shown in the ring. There have been flashes of her ability, but not enough to show the WWE Universe that she’s anything more than the current batch of Divas already there.

Overall Grade- C-

Harper, Luke
In-ring talent- A-
Promo ability- B
Overall impact to roster- B+

What can you say about the Wyatt Family that hasn’t already been said? As a whole, they are one of the most influential teams to ever step foot in the WWE. The one surprise, to most people anyway, has been Luke Harper. For those that knew what he could do when he wrestled as Brodie Lee, you’re probably saying “yeah I knew that,” but for a lot of WWE fans, they aren’t aware of his past. Harper is a phenomenal big man. He has size, speed, ingenuity, and plays his character just as well as Bray does. He’s had more chances to talk recently, and he puts a lot into his promos, never once making you believe he’s not THAT GUY!

Overall Grade- B+

In-ring talent- B-
Promo ability- C
Overall impact to roster- B

I have a lot of high hopes for Paige, but I feel as though she’s been thrust into the unenviable position of being Divas champion before anybody even knew who she was. Winning the title in your very first match provides a shock factor, but the WWE Universe had no time to warm up to Paige the person, before they were confronted with Paige the champion. Now, she’s defending her belt as the underdog champ always needing to find a way to win. This is very unlike her character in NXT, which was a bit of a badass. Much like Emma, she’s a much better wrestler than has been seen to date. I hope that the insta-push she received doesn’t come back to haunt her, as it has done so many others in the past.

Overall Grade- B-

Rose, Adam
In-ring talent- C+
Promo ability- B-
Overall impact to roster- C+

Much like Bo Dallas, Adam Rose hasn’t had a lot of time on the main roster, so his overall grade won’t be that high, yet. What’s even more interesting though is that Adam Rose hasn’t really had a lot of time to be Adam Rose. For quite a long time, he was Leo Kruger in NXT, a mercenary type character. It was only about a month before being called up to the main roster did he become the current leader of the Exotic Express. You can sort of tell that Rose and the WWE are still working out what this character is going to be, but in all reality that should have been done before the call-up. I like Adam Rose as a character. He’s kind of a throwback to Rico, Adrian Adonis, and to some extent The Godfather, who often came to party with his own posse. I think down the road a mid-card title might not be out of the question, but as of now, he’s still getting his feet wet.

Overall Grade- C+

Rowan, Erick
In-ring talent- B-
Promo ability- D
Overall impact to roster- C+

Erick Rowan is an interesting one, in that he’s by far the least talented of the Wyatt Family, but for what they need him to do he’s doing an admirable job. From his debut up until now, you can see considerable improvement in his in-ring ability, which probably comes from being around the likes of Wyatt and Harper. In terms of promos, he doesn’t really do them, which could hurt him down the road if he and Harper eventually split up. Rowan is a wrestler that could certainly benefit from a manager by his side to do the talking for him. I was torn on his overall impact score, because of the influence of the Wyatts at this time, but looking at them individually, I feel as though Rowan is most certainly the weak link.

Overall Grade- C+

Rusev (w/Lana)
In-ring talent- C+
Promo ability- B-
Overall impact to roster- B-

I’ve packaged Rusev and Lana together, because Lana is the mouthpiece for the angry Bulgarian. While the WWE Universe certainly loves looking at Lana, they haven’t really warmed to Rusev as a character. He’s the latest in a long line of big foreign men fighting for their country, which is as old a wrestling character as they come. Rusev has typical big-man moves, but he is a bit more agile than I expected. As I mentioned, he doesn’t really talk much, so that’s what Lana is for. She’s coming into her character nicely, doing her best Bridgette Nielsen in Rocky IV impression with a splash of Natasha from Bullwinkle thrown in. At times, she does seem to get flustered by the crowd, but those issues will clear up with experience. The WWE seems to have big plans for Rusev, including a potential program with John Cena down the road. He’s got the look that Vince and co. love, so the only thing holding him back would be his own limitations.

Overall Grade- B-

Woods, Xavier
In-ring talent- C
Promo ability- C
Overall impact to roster- D

The former Consequences Creed spent quite a bit of time in NXT, debuting way back in 2010. Most people were beginning to wonder if he was ever going to make his main roster debut, or was the WWE just going to release him without him getting a shot. Well, Woods did get his chance on the big stage, and has quickly become little more than a glorified jobber. Woods and R-Truth amounted to next to nothing as a tag team, and most recently both have been given the task of putting over another NXT talent, Rusev. There really isn’t much to say about Xavier Woods, because quite frankly there isn’t a lot there to work with. He’s OK in the ring and on the mic, but OK isn’t going to get you anywhere. I don’t see much in the way of a future for Woods, and wouldn’t be surprised if he were released within the year.

Overall Grade- D+

Wyatt, Bray
In-ring talent- A-
Promo ability- A+
Overall impact to roster- A

Bray Wyatt is one of the best things to ever come out of NXT, bar none. He’s most certainly one of the best talkers the WWE currently has, and in time may become one of the best there ever was. When the former Husky Harris was given this character, he embraced it to the fullest. You really BELIEVE that this man exists. He could, without a doubt, be a true cult leader if he wanted to be. But there is more to Wyatt than just his promos. He’s exceptional in the ring, and has participated in two MOTY candidates for 2014, in his match with Daniel Bryan, and in the six-man match against The Shield. I couldn’t be more of a fan of the Wyatts, because they’re a throwback to an older generation of characters. At first I worried that maybe they worked better on a smaller stage like NXT, and that the character wasn’t translating well to a big arena, but now Bray has tens of thousands of people singing, chanting, and swaying in unison. This one the WWE got right.

Overall Grade- A

There you have it dear readers, my mid-year report card for the wrestlers called up from NXT within the past 12 months. So far only a few have really shown anything, so the next six months will be crucial to their development and whether or not they succeed on the main roster. What do you think of the grades? Are they fair?

As usual, thanks so much for reading. Please leave your comments, questions, death threats, suggestions, and World Cup predictions at any of the available outlets.

Also, please be sure to check out LOP Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/lordsofpain. There are a lot of great shows on the schedule, and we’re really coming into our own in our second year of existence. The hosts surely appreciate the listens, and the recommendations to anyone you know that enjoys listening to good wrestling conversation.

Until next time,
Rob Out!

Chair Shots has its own Facebook page now. Find it here.
Chair Shots on Facebook

  • Chair Shots Presents: Until Next Time....

  • Welcome to the Underground: Ultima Lucha Night One

  • Chair Shots Presents: A Real Man's Man, Dalton Castle!

  • Welcome to the Underground: Son of Havoc's Fury Road Leads to Ultima Lucha

  • Welcome to the Underground: All That Glitters Isn't Gold

  • Chair Shots Presents: The Day Hell Froze Over

  • Welcome to the Underground: A Tale of Two Demons

  • Welcome to the Underground: Chavo Makes His Move!

  • Welcome to the Underground: Death vs. The Dragon (The Road to Ultima Lucha!)

  • Chair Shots Presents: The Strange Case of Dolph Ziggler