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5 Superstars who thrived in NXT but are struggling on the main roster

Gary Cassidy
Top 5 / Top 10
11.57K   //    17 Feb 2018, 05:42 IST

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NXT has provided some great WWE talent, but not everyone has thrived

When you look at the NXT conveyor belt, it's produced some of the biggest Superstars in NXT today.

Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn - they all honed their craft in NXT to adjust to the WWE style before taking the main roster by storm.

But it doesn't quite work out so well for everyone and, while many have moved on from the company altogether, I'm going to give a rundown of five Superstars who have been severely mishandled since moving to the main roster and could do with another spell back in NXT.

#5 Curtis Axel

Curtis Axel was paired with Paul Heyman in his initial WWE days
Curtis Axel was paired with Paul Heyman at one stage in the WWE

As we know all too well, having a famous parent in wrestling can be either a blessing or a curse. For Curtis Axel, being the son of 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig didn't seem to hinder him at all under the name Michael McGillicutty in NXT.

Axel was the runner-up of season two of NXT in its original contest form and even represented Nexus on the main brand, before returning to NXT as the top star he was before leaving.

While he was never an NXT Champion, Axel was always there or thereabouts. Upon his second call-up to the main roster, Curtis Axel was paired with Paul Heyman.

Everything looked great on paper. With Heyman by his side, Curtis Axel won the Intercontinental Championship, but Brock Lesnar's advocate left Axel behind before he had even dropped the belt - which didn't take too long to follow.

The Axe Man was so forgettable without Heyman that he was sadly named 'Mr. Irrelevant' for a spell, before joining the Social Outcasts and sadly being known more for bumbling promos than his in-ring prowess.

The former Intercontinental Champion has proven his worth recently as part of The Miztourage, but it seems like Curtis Axel's singles push may be well and truly over.

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Gary Cassidy
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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