Why do NXT call-ups struggle on the main roster?
Currently set for a call-up from NXT is former NXT champion Johnny Gargano following NXT Takeover Toronto. History makes many fans worry, however, about whether or not NXT call ups will either get a push on the main roster or stuck chasing the 24/7 belt.
Throughout the history of NXT, a numerous amount of talent, men and women, have been able to get over with the gold brand. On the main roster, they don’t find the same success. The most recent example of this are the former War Raiders. The team made their debut on Raw on April 15th under a new name: The Viking Experience. Criticism started to circulate online about this name change. The Viking Raiders soon became the new name of this tag-team. Since then, in an attempt to get them over as monsters such as Braun Strowman, have been squashing local talent. Yet for some reason, the crowd is completely silent during their squash matches. This is not the only example of top NXT talent who get over great at Full Sail Live, but for some reason can’t get even a CM Punk chant on Raw or Smackdown.
There is a pattern for these talents that aren’t getting over. It all starts with Vince McMahon. Once talent gets called up to the main roster, they are no longer under the control of Triple H. McMahon then takes over as he oversees all creative decisions on both Raw and Smackdown. McMahon sees things differently than anyone else in the business. He can give someone one look and decide if they will become champion one day. A superstar can be hated by Vince on the main roster and loved by Hunter in NXT.
Another reason why talent is having problems getting over are the characters. NXT has an independent wrestling feel, while Raw and Smackdown are the complete opposite. Characters like Tyler Breeze are able to work down in Full Sail due to the indie vibe. However, these characters don’t work as often with the more casual audience on the main roster. The well known exception to this is Undertaker. The Viking Raiders suffer from this as well. The gimmick of being vikings doesn’t seem to work with the mainstream audience.
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It seems one of the biggest issues hurting talent on the main roster is a lack of English skills. Two of the greatest foreign wrestlers, Andrade and Asuka, have both gotten over with the crowd. Due to their lack of speaking English, these wrestlers haven’t gotten a major push on the main roster. Andrade has still not held a title despite the fact that he has put on incredible matches with Rey Mysterio on TV for the past few months. It’s unclear why McMahon doesn’t push non-English speaking talent. The majority of them are very talented wrestlers and could put on incredible matches like we have seen them do time and time again.
When it comes to wrestling, not getting over usually means you aren’t as good as the other talent. This has not been true for the past few years. If Vince McMahon doesn’t like how they look, their characters aren’t being treated properly by creative, or they can’t speak well enough English, it can cause great wrestlers to be held back. Once a superstar is called up from NXT fans wonder if they will be wasted. With the newest set of call-ups such as Aleister Black and Ricochet looking good, hopefully the tide has started to turn in WWE. Hopefully.