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Five NXT Superstars Who Are Ready For A Main Roster Call-Up

These five NXT stars are ready for the bright lights of the main roster! 

By Ethan Absler
Cora Jade

There’s hardly a more exciting thing in WWE than when your favorite NXT Superstar debuts on the main roster. There is something almost wholesome about watching a WWE star grow, work, and develop right in front of your eyes before getting the call that their dreams are coming true, and the current NXT roster has tons of candidates for that moment. Ever since the start of NXT 2.0 just one year ago, the direction of the brand has drastically changed. The show is more character driven with elaborate storylines and a brighter, more colorful feel. Although it took fans a couple of weeks to get used to the adjustment, NXT now seems hotter than ever and is turning out some of the best wrestling talent in the world.

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When your favorite NXT Superstar debuts on RAW or SmackDown, you are guaranteed to get an adrenaline rush almost as big as theirs must be, and today’s NXT landscape is overflowing with more than capable talent. Whether it’s the increased size of the crowd watching live and on TV, or the star power of the opponent they must work with, transitioning to RAW or SmackDown is no easy task.

With that being said, let’s take a look at five NXT Superstars who we feel are most ready for a main roster promotion and to be thrust into the spotlight.

Carmelo Hayes

Carmelo Hayes

It only took Carmelo Hayes four months from the moment he signed with NXT to the moment he debuted … and if that wasn’t a sign of what was to come, we don’t know what is. Hayes and his manager, Trick Williams, quickly rose up the NXT ranks until he earned a spot in the 2021 Breakout Tournament, which he would go on to win. In October of last year, Hayes cashed-in his championship contract on Isaiah “Swerve” Scott to capture the NXT North American Title. Since then, Hayes has called himself the “A-Champion” in NXT and we wouldn’t disagree with him.

Hayes has made the North American Title just as relevant as the NXT Championship currently held by Bron Breakker. In addition, many fans forget that Hayes defeated Roderick Strong in January to unify the Cruiserweight and North American titles, technically making him a double champion. Hayes rarely loses in NXT and when he does, he wins the championship right back like he did against Cameron Grimes.

Hayes’s in-ring work is second to none and his mic work is also extremely solid. With the addition of Trick Williams on the outside, Hayes is the full package. He’s proven that he can tackle any challenge put in front of him and seems to be only improving with every outing. If there is one Superstar ready for the bright lights of RAW and SmackDown, Carmelo Hayes would be the one.

Cora Jade

Cora Jade

Cora Jade seemingly burst onto the scene at last year’s NXT War Games where she earned her team the victory after a death-defying leap from the top of the cage through a table. Since that moment, Jade has proven that she is willing to do anything for the NXT Women’s Title, a prize that has eluded her due to Mandy Rose’s legendary and historic reign. In just one year’s time, Jade has become a leader in the NXT women’s division — not to mention she is only 21 years old.

Being so good at such a young age, the WWE Universe better get used to Cora Jade because we have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot of her for possibly the next 20 years. Jade is currently being booked in NXT like a future star of women’s wrestling and at such a young age, she is already performing like a veteran. Keep in mind, Jade has only been wrestling for four years, but you would never know that based on her skills. Her ability to carry a feud like her rivalry against Roxanne Perez, and her ability to wrestle quality matches against any opponent while staying true to her character are tell-tale signs of someone who is ready for a main roster call-up.

Roderick Strong

Roderick Strong

Roderick Strong is currently the most experienced wrestler on NXT, so it only makes sense that a main roster call-up for the master of the backbreaker could be imminent. In addition, Strong has been relatively quiet in NXT since his Undisputed Era tag team partners left the company. Despite that, Strong is still a world-renowned wrestler who has won titles in almost every major promotion in the world. He is one of the best in-ring workers in WWE and given his lack of direction in NXT at the moment, a debut on RAW or SmackDown may be just the change of scenery that he needs to get his career back on track.

Part of the reason for Strong’s absence from programming could be attributed to reports that he asked for his release from the company late last year and early this year, but was not granted said release because of current creative plans in place for him. Strong used to be the leader of Diamond Mine, which has now dissolved into the Creed Brothers' tag team with Damon Kemp becoming a rival. The former champion no longer being involved in the Diamond Mine storyline is just another reason why Strong can be promoted to the main roster where he will absolutely be able to carry his own weight and wrestle with the best that RAW and SmackDown have to offer.

Mandy Rose

Mandy Rose

This entry is pretty obvious, but Mandy Rose must be called up to the main roster the second she loses her title. First of all, Mandy losing her title is something that I can’t see happening in the near future, even as Alba Fyre tries her best to take out members of Toxic Attraction one by one. Rose’s NXT Women’s Championship reign has just surpassed the one year mark and she has been a dominant champion during the course of her reign.

Rose is also the leader of Toxic Attraction, one of wrestling’s most popular factions over the last year. Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin are wrestling stars and former champions in their own right, making Rose seem that much more untouchable. Rose competed on the main roster years ago, but has really found herself as a performer since moving to NXT. She is in the best shape of her life, her in-ring work is improving with every outing, her mic skills are believable, and outside of NXT, her life is coming together as she just announced the emergence of her second company and marriage to her longtime boyfriend, Tino Sabatelli.

Rose is everything that the WWE could want when it comes to a women’s wrestling star and once Rose is done with NXT, the obvious correct place for her is the main roster. We are interested to see if she will continue her dominance when the difficulty of her opponents is scaled up a notch, but we think based on her current domination that it won’t be a problem for Rose.

Cameron Grimes

Cameron Grimes

Cameron Grimes has had one of the most storied and successful careers in NXT history, but the main reason he deserves a spot on the main roster is because he’s proven that he can take any opportunity WWE gives him and run with it. When Grimes debuted in NXT, his character was basically a small indy star. He scratched and clawed his way into the finals of the NXT Breakout Tournament where he unfortunately lost. From there, he faced NXT mainstays such as Kushida, Timothy Thatcher, and Keith Lee in fantastic matches that built his credibility and momentum.

Grimes was then thrown into an interesting feud with LA Knight over the returning Ted Dibiase’s iconic Million Dollar Championship. His gimmick shifted to a rich stockbroker-like character when he finally won the title, cementing himself as a fan favorite in NXT. From there, Grimes went on to win the North American Championship in an emotional victory, proving he is a main event player in NXT. As Grimes’s NXT career slows down and his path becomes more unclear, a main roster call-up is seeming more and more likely. His in-ring work needs no improvement and he can hang with the best of them on the microphone. Out of anybody on this countdown, we expect to realistically see Grimes on the main roster before anybody else here.

You can rewatch every single episode of NXT in history on the WWE Network on Peacock!

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