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Thread: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

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    WWE NXT NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    So I thought every week or two weeks I would bring up a superstar who started on NXT and is now on the main WWE roster and we could discuss whether they have been a hit or a miss since leaving the developmental brand. So let's get straight to it with...





    RUSEV and LANA

    Rusev has been a resounding success since being called up to the main roster and pairing Lana with him has proved a master stroke. His first appearance came in the 2014 Royal Rumble Match where he was impressive before he re-debuted on RAW proper in April shortly after WrestleMania XXX.

    He had a month or so of squashing before moving into a mini feud with Big E and then a more lengthy rivalry with Jack Swagger which I think most people would agree was pretty great. He defeated Swagger at Battleground and SummerSlam. Lana as a mouthpiece has been very impressive as well in getting the anti-USA gimmick working very well indeed.

    Rusev would then move on to a couple more feuds with bigger men in Mark Henry and Big Show which probably didn't help him greatly but at this point they were clearly holding him back for future big plans. At least that's what I felt. In October he had perhaps his most memorable moment to date when he shared the ring with none other than The Rock on an episode of RAW. Although he came out as the loser in these circumstances it was very entertaining.

    Rusev would continue his undefeated streak beating Sheamus for the US Title and would hold it all the way up to WrestleMania where he would be pinned by none other than John Cena for his first ever loss. Leading up to this he would have an impressive showing in the Royal Rumble Match as one of the last two superstars and he defeated Cena at Fastlane as well.

    Since Mania things haven't gone great for the Bulgarian Brute and what happens at Payback this Sunday in his I Quit Match with Cena could very well shape his future as it looks like Lana is going to split from him and the two will go their separate ways.

    So how do you feel about RUSEV and LANA and what they have accomplished since leaving NXT?
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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    Rusev is only behind Rollins as far as having success on the main roster sice being called

    My only concern is that once he is finished his program with Cena, he will be lost in the shuffle because his character is pretty one dimensional

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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    Rusev's a rare case of being booked a hell of a lot better on the main roster than he was on NXT, usually it's the other way around, maybe Reigns is the only other guy that fits that category. There wasn't much love at all for Rusev breaking off from Lefort and Dawson to be managed by some blonde who wasn't really introduced to the audience, he also lost to Ziggler.

    TCON has it right, it's been a killer first 12 months where he's been slowly built up as a big deal, but I got big fears about them throwing away all that hard work with all these loses to Cena and what they move him onto next.
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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    He has had one of the best builds of the past year bar Rollins. Going undefeated for the year, carrying the US title and ending it with a rivalrie agains WWE's #1 guy. His run has been incredible and has truly had the star treatment the past year and again bar Rollins is the next best heel on the roster. However all of this is the last year. He is likely to take a 3rd straight loss to Cena and ALL of his work now hangs on how creative handle him post Cena. Lana has been a great voice for him and has played her role perfectly, even now the crowd is starting to embrase her as a face. I dont think she should be pulled from Rusev and again it's down to how creative handle this. He has the talent to have a decent career going forward but where he is on the ladder post Cena will greatly effect if he has to work his way back up again.

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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    I know when Ed, Punk Wolf, myself, and several others first saw Rusev in NXT, we knew dude had a lot of potential. It is funny to think that that potential was realized not by NXT Creative, but WWE Creative.

    WWE deserves props for how they've handled Rusev as this undefeated superior athlete. The Russian nationalism bit is corny, sure, but you can't deny that it didn't do its job of generating some heat. And Rusev and Lana evolved enough past that that it wasn't just nationalist fervor, but just an attitude of superiority.

    Rusev had quality matches throughout his run in WWE from just about everybody. Yeah, he's a monster who crushes people like HoHo wants Lana to crush his balls (seriously, what the hell?), but dude's got grips on all the facets of professional wrestling. Remember his matches against Swagger where he'd sell the shit out of his ankle not just that evening, but for a couple of weeks? THAT'S dedication and helps us as viewers suspend just a bit of our disbelief.

    Sadly, this feud with Cena, while it started out great with Rusev getting one up on the WWE's golden boy, has me worried. Sure, the matches have been good and competitive, but we're now heading into extremely choppy waters with this "I Quit" Match. As I've stated before, "I Quit" Matches with Cena rarely ever help his adversaries be perceived as worthy opponents. Now, admittedly WWE Creative CAN make this match work in a couple of ways, but that'd require them to go outside their comfort zone and their own preferred method of doing things. So yeah...have fun with that.

    Regardless, Rusev's been tremendously successful and Lana has grown into a great side act for him. It'll be kinda awkward to see these two split up, and I do hope for the best for both. They clearly deserve continued success for all the good work they've done.
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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    Okay so let's discuss another NXT Alumni which might provoke some debate none other than...



    BIG E

    Big E debuted on RAW on December 17, 2012 by attacking John Cena and aligning himself with AJ Lee thus becoming the enforcer of her then boyfriend Dolph Ziggler. He would team with Ziggler at WrestleMania 29 in a losing effort against Team Hell No with the WWE Tag Team Titles on the line. A few months later he would end up feuding with Ziggler in a series of matches which won't be remembered as amazing.

    Things took a turn for the better when Big E turned face and would soon become the Intercontinental Champion. On a November 18 episode of RAW he would defeat Curtis Axel to win the title almost a year after moving up to the main roster. He would hold the title right through to Extreme Rules in 2014 before dropping it to Bad News Barrett who won a number one contender's tournament to earn the shot.

    Big E would then disappear from the scene after a couple of matches with Rusev on pay per view and return in July as a member of face tag team The New Day alongside Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. In hindsight them being face was never going to work and they turned heel after the reaction they got the night after WrestleMania 31. Big E is now part of the WWE Tag Team Champions as a member of The New Day and his stock has arguably never been higher.

    So what do you think of the way Big E has been booked since leaving NXT for the main roster?
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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    It's been up and down. I mean, it's not like they haven't given him his shot, he had the intercontinental championship after all and was in the spotlight with Punk and Cena too:



    He's uber charismatic though, super young so he has so much time to be bigger than he's ever been (and improve his wrasslin' too). For now, his stuff with New Day is absolutely awesome so I'm happy with how he is right now. I mean, it could be better, but it could also be way worse. I'd give it an easy "B".



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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    Was never the biggest fan of Big E, but he's really flourishing in this new stable. He's allowed to be funny and more of himself than this serious brute that has no personality.

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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    The only time I've really enjoyed Big E is right now during the heel run of New Day. Don't get me wrong, he's charismatic and could be very funny before New Day too but this run with New Day as a heel is his best stuff.



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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    Big E's a textbook example of a wrestler with a lot of the tools (look, talent, charisma) but has struggled to find his niche in the dangerous, choppy waters of WWE Creative.

    Being Ziggler's mostly silent enforcer was, in hindsight, kind of a shit idea. It'd be one thing if Big E couldn't talk or didn't possess any charisma, but as we've all learned that is not the case. He had a fun if somewhat unimpressive run after turning face and winning the IC Championship, but again WWE didn't give him a chance to showcase his personality. It wasn't until we got heel New Day that we finally, FINALLY got a glimpse of just how awesome Big E the character could be.

    Wrestling wise, he's very athletic for a powerhouse and moves around the ring very well. He's not had any signature "great" matches, but rarely if ever does he have a dud.

    All in all, Big E's a very talented performer whose initial run was stymied by a creative team who couldn't see anything more in him than just a big black powerhouse. Shame on you, racist WWE. SHAME.
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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    They called him up years too early.

    He was fucking terrible in NXT. Awful on promos, his matches were dull and predictable, he was pushed too hard and he only got the '5' thing over due to the good will of the early NXT crowds that were up for chanting anything and everything. NXT really started to hit it's stride once Big E dropped the title and left (not that it's all down to Big E, but he wasn't there to drag it down anymore)

    The NXT run soured me on a lot of what he was doing on the main roster after his call up. I thought debuting him as Ziggler's heavy never really worked as he wasn't menacing enough to pull it off, then being AJ's bodyguard was a waste of time. I thought in-ring he was beginning to show promise during his IC title run, but he was completely forgettable as a character, and neither him or creative could manage to translate his great personality that he shows on twitter onto his WWE appearances.

    Now with the New Day as heels, he's finally found his groove and this has been the most enjoyable he's ever been by far.
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    Re: NXT - How They Do When Called Up

    Like most have said

    He is bounced around in several different roles/programs, but seems to have found his niche as a heel in New Day

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