Is it my imagination or has NXT sprung a leak?
Then Paige, the NXT women’s champion, showed up on the same program and did something that no other Diva on the main roster had done in the previous 300 days – defeat AJ Lee for the WWE Divas title.
On that same program, we saw video promos heralding the return of Bo Dallas and the arrival of Adam Rose. Dallas, as you recall, made his WWE splash last year in the Royal Rumble by eliminating Wade Barrett and holding his own in the ring. Rose, a rising NXT star, likely will be on the main stage sooner rather than later.
And if you read other Internet reports, more NXT stars ready for main-scene action include Sami Zayn and tag team The Ascension.
WWE usually trots out new talent in the weeks following WrestleMania to gauge how the WWE Universe will relate to them, not to mention them to the WWE Universe. It’s WWE’s version of Major League Baseball’s late season when young stars at the lower levels are brought up to fill spots left by injuries and other assorted vacancies. While it is unlikely that all who come up over the next few weeks will actually stick around for longer than a cup of coffee, a few do, in the words of Zeb Colter, “sneak across the borders” from the developmental territory into the big time.
I cannot say right now how Rose, Zayn and The Ascension will do at this level because I have not seen them enough to fairly judge them. I just have to rely on the assessments of those who have forgotten more about pro wrestling development than I ever will know.
But based on what I have seen from Paige and Rusev on Monday night, and Dallas last year, it is a safe bet to say that Paige and Dallas could have the longest staying power of those three.
Rusev is a throwback to the old Iron Curtain muscle characters like Ivan Koloff and Nikolai Volkoff, plus he wrestles without boots, which conjures up images of Jimmy Snuka, Argentina Rocca and Kevin Von Erich. But his character seems destined to be too one-dimensional with his low center of gravity and glacier-like speed. Plus, his partnership with the blonde Lana reminds us too much of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from the “Bullwinkle” cartoons. One might expect him to get on the mic and say something about “Moose and Squirrel.”
Dallas has the greatest potential for stardom of the young talent so far, but it may not be as the face he is in NXT. Remember that Dallas’ real-life brother is Bray Wyatt, leader of the evil Wyatt Family cult stable. I would not be surprised to see WWE Creative eventually come up with a plan to make Dallas the fourth member of that stable…eventually moving him up to become Bray’s right-hand henchman.
It will be fun to watch all these new stars develop in the coming weeks.
Bill Atkinson is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and the owner of WrestleWatch, a family-friendly wrestling web site. Follow Bill on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963 and visit WrestleWatch at www.wrestlewatch.com.
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