As wrestling fans, NXT has been spoiling us. Between high-profile independent signings like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Samoa Joe, and a genre re-defining women’s division led by Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Charlotte, it seems like everyone who shows up on NXT is ear-marked for future success. But let’s be realistic. In the opening minutes of the ESPN E:60 documentary about NXT, Triple H made a speech to all the talent that basically said Some of you will make it, a lot of you won’t”. For every NXT success story that makes it into WWE, there are going to be wrestlers who can’t quite get that high. Keep in mind, NXT is still a developmental program, where the line between success and failure can always be a gimmick change away. With that said, while no one can truly know who the “next big thing” in pro wrestling will be, here’s some acts currently on NXT TV that all seem like they may have caught on with the smaller NXT crowd, but which might be destined for failure on the main roster, if they can even get there at all.
8. The Vaudevillains
Listen, the Vaudevillains are great. They’re funny, they’re decent wrestlers, and they are above all else, appropriately old-timey. It’s a hilarious gimmick, but it’s one that runs a serious risk of ending up like Adam Rose. The joke of being ridiculously trapped in a Victorian mindset is hilarious the first couple of times, but after that? And we’re not saying that you have to be tall in the modern WWE, but both guys are definitely on the short side, which won’t help them in a tag division with behemoths like Bubba Ray Dudley, Big E, and The Prime Time Players stomping around, and the Lucha Dragons already filling the role of plucky under-sized team. They’ve both got unique looks and decent wrestling abilities, but Gotch is way too small to be the strongman he claims, and English resembles a man fifteen years older than his actual age (the scourge of male pattern baldness doesn’t care if you’re only 27, apparently). It’s fine to enjoy them in NXT, but that just might be as good as it gets for the team.