Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest are the next two NXT wrestlers who are scheduled to join WWE‘s main roster. According to a recent report from PWInsider, both are due to graduate from the ‘black and gold brand’ imminently.
Both Priest and Ripley suffered defeat at Wednesday’s New Year’s Evil edition of NXT on the USA Network. Priest wrestled Karrion Kross, while Ripley battled Raquel Gonzales in a Last Woman Standing match.
As some fans guessed, the losses were booked to serve as a transition for both of them to the bigger stage. “Priest’s loss to Karrion Kross and Rhea’s loss to Raquel Gonzales were devised with the idea those were the end of the NXT chapters of their career,” wrote Mike Johnson.
In recent weeks, there have been reports that tentative plans called for Damian Priest to join SmackDown and align himself with Kevin Owens. According to Wrestling Observer Radio, those plans were scrapped at the last minute after Kevin Owens expressed concern over the pairing. Owens and Priest could make for an impressive combination, but WWE did not have a good storyline devised to introduce Priest. The current plan is for Priest to join the Raw brand.
As for Rhea Ripley, she is expected to join Raw as well. She will resume her feud with Charlotte Flair, which ended abruptly earlier this year after Ripley dropped the NXT Women’s Championship to Flair at WrestleMania. Charlotte is currently one half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, along with Asuka.