Each year, NXT superstars are called up to the main WWE roster at several points during the year.
Typically, fans can expect these debuts after major events such as the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and SummerSlam.
With the Royal Rumble on the horizon, a round of promotions may be imminent. Whether talent is added to RAW or SmackDown, the main roster would benefit from fresh faces, new characters and interesting matches.
This article looks at five NXT Superstars who may be debuting in WWE in the near future. When the year ends, there may be more than five, but those outlined below can be considered fairly safe bets.
With competition between wrestling companies being hotter than it's ever been, it will be important for WWE to continue to find ways to develop and grow talent from the earliest stages of their careers.
5. Former NXT Women's Champion, Io Shirai
For over three years, Io Shirai has received just about every accolade there is to receive.
From being the brand's women's champion, as well as serving as one-half of their Women's Tag Team Champions, she's done it all and is more than ready to take her talents to the next level.
There could be several options for Shirai on the main roster. Naturally, she would be an automatic contender for either the RAW or SmackDown's Women's Championship.
She could help boost the lackluster women's tag team division and make a run for those titles. She has a history with Asuka, who is rumored to be returning, and it would be a logical fit to put them together either as partners or in a feud.
Whatever the creative team decides, Io Shirai is an easy pick to be promoted in the near future.
4. Former NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa
With Tommaso Ciampa recently losing to newcomer Bron Breakker on January 4th and regularly appearing in main roster dark matches and on WWE Main Event, he is a heavy favorite to debut on either RAW or SmackDown in short order.
Upon debuting, it would be best for Ciampa to return to his heel persona which was highly successful in NXT.
It's very important to build heels who are truly hated by fans and do not receive mixed reactions.
Ciampa has proven that he can not only serve in that capacity, but can also switch to being a babyface when the storyline needs it.
3. Dakota Kai
Similar to the men's division, the women's division is in need of credible heels. To that end, Dakota Kai has been a pleasant surprise.
Spending the early part of her career as the shy, plucky babyface, she pulled off one of the best heel turns in recent history at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in 2019 when she turned on Tegan Nox.
Since then, she has evolved into a solid, upper mid-card heel, helping to bring Raquel González to prominence as her teammate and bodyguard.
As Kai has since turned on González and lost their resulting feud, it's time to bring her to the main roster where she could be an immediate title contender or a feud for other stars.
2. Cameron Grimes
Cameron Grimes doesn't have as much longevity in NXT as some of the others, but he has been a presence in the wrestling industry for a number of years. His promo skills have improved, and he's evolved nicely into a solid babyface.
He's still a bit too comedic to be taken seriously, but he can deliver in big spots when called upon.
He wouldn't necessarily be an immediate challenger for the WWE or Universal Championship. However, he could serve as a good contender for either the Intercontinental or United States Championship.
Those titles need to be built to mean something again, and to do that quality talent is needed. If booked correctly, Grimes could fill that void and fill it well.
1. Former NXT Women's Champion, Raquel González
Of the wrestlers listed above, Raquel González needs the most improvement in the ring and on the microphone. That being said, she has the look and the presence that Vince McMahon usually goes for in his top talent.
Whether it be RAW or Smackdown, she would immediately be thrust into the title picture.
In terms of booking, there's no guarantee that the creative team will get it right. Look at the booking of Rhea Ripley on the main roster as an example.
She was built to be ready-made for RAW, but despite her look and powerful presence, she was never put in a position to really get to the next level.
She was initially booked poorly in her feud with Charlotte Flair before being put in a directionless tag team with Nikki A.S.H.
Hopefully, with González, the creative team has learned from their mistakes and will book her to make an immediate impact upon arrival.
As always, the fear is that her domineering presence, similar to Ripley, will not win out over subpar booking.