NXT Champion, Tomasso Ciampa, NXT North American Champion, Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black, and Ricochet all made their debuts this week. They would compete on both Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live.
If you were surprised to see NXT Superstars debut on the main roster this week, then you weren’t the only one. Turns out the WWE locker room weren’t aware that these four NXT standouts would be showing up, too.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, wrestlers were left confused and curious over why these four Superstars were brought up. Concern apparently spread through the locker room about even more main roster spots — already a contentious commodity — being taken.
“Are They Coming For My Spot?”
On the subject of the NXT call ups, Johnson said:
“I can tell you from speaking to a number of people who work on the main roster, no one seemed to have any knowledge or understanding that they were coming to work the show. When they showed up, there was definitely some side eye at these guys going ‘Ok, why are they all here? Why are they all working RAW?’ There were definitely some talents who have been brought up within the last couple of months who really have kind of just floated around not due to their issues but just due to how they were treated on creative. They were kind of like ‘Oh, are they coming for my spot? What’s going on here?’”
He would go on to say that, although there was no “resentment” towards the four men, he “[…] definitely heard some feedback from some WWE talents who were paying closer attention to their own spot and what these talents coming up could mean for their spot. I don’t mean people who just came up to the roster from NXT. I’m talking about existing mid-card talent who haven’t gotten a lot or are just starting to get a little bit of a push again. There was definitely some whispering among each other like ‘hey what’s going on here?’”
Call Up Conundrum
It was only a few months ago that a number of NXT call ups were made, with WWE heavily promoting their debuts. At this time, WWE Creative have yet to give them anything substantial on the main roster. This is also true for those called up a while ago, including talent like Sanity.
This is particularly interesting in the wake of so many WWE Superstars expressing their displeasure and requesting their releases. Hideo Itami was granted his. Tye Dillinger has only just officially announced that he has now requested his.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.