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5 WWE NXT stars who could win their first world championship before the end of 2022

Some superstars on WWE NXT could win their first world title
Some superstars on WWE NXT could win their first world title
Ken

A superstar winning a championship in WWE and NXT is always incredibly impressive. Holding a top title means the performer will forever go down in the annals of history.

While WWE Superstars can be proud of any championship win, the goal of almost every wrestler is to win a world title. Holding the premier title on whatever brand or company you're part of is the ultimate sign of success.

Inevitably, most wrestlers don't end up capturing world titles in their careers. Only the most elite and tenured stars usually reach the mountaintop. Still, many superstars in NXT have all of the tools to one day reach the pinnacle. Some could even potentially reach the top sooner rather than later.

With many talented stars currently on the NXT roster, who might win their first world championship before the year is up? Could a familiar face who has had success on RAW and SmackDown do it? Could a relative newcomer officially make NXT his territory?

Below are five WWE NXT stars who could win their first world championship before the end of 2022.


#5. Carmelo Hayes could be a future WWE NXT Champion

Carmelo Hayes with Trick Williams
Carmelo Hayes with Trick Williams

Carmelo Hayes calls himself The A-Champion of WWE's third brand. He made his debut in professional wrestling in 2015 on the independent wrestling scene. Hayes worked for Beyond Wrestling before signing with WWE in February 2021.

The talented star almost immediately made waves in the company as he won the 2021 NXT Breakout Tournament and then captured the NXT North American Championship. He's held the title twice now and even unified it with the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.

With his recent success and brash attitude, a major championship win isn't too far for the upstart. As impressive as his accomplishments are, Hayes needs to win a world title before potentially transitioning to the main roster. An eventual clash between The A-Champion and Bron Breakker could be highly entertaining.


#4. Santos Escobar is ready to be a top star on the brand

Santos Escobar
Santos Escobar

Santos Escobar has more international experience than many stars on the promotion's main roster. The talented Mexican superstar started his wrestling journey in 2000, primarily in Mexico. He eventually found success in the United States while competing for both Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling.

Escobar signed with WWE in 2019 but nearly immediately suffered a setback when he injured his knee. After recovering, he debuted on NXT in 2020 and quickly formed the Legado del Fantasma faction. The promising stable features Elektra Lopez, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro.

Since joining WWE, Santos has already captured the Cruiserweight Championship. With an impressive array of skills and an intimidating stable by his side, there's no reason why he won't go on to win a major championship in the near future. The only real question is whether he would win it on WWE NXT or the main roster.


#3. Joe Gacy has help to potentially reach the top

Joe Gacy made his professional wrestling debut in 2006. While on the independent scene, he was likely best known for his time with Combat Zone Wrestling and EVOLVE Wrestling. In 2020, Gacy signed with WWE, and in 2021 he debuted on NXT.

The biggest reason why Joe Gacy is a threat to a championship is that he's never alone. At one point, the odd superstar was accompanied to the ring by the powerful Harland. Today, he represents The Schism alongside Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid. The tag team was once known as Zack Gibson, and James Drake before Gacy corrupted them.

The NXT star is currently attempting to recruit Cameron Grimes to the fold. If he manages to gain Grimes' trust, the four superstars could threaten any world champion in the company. While he has had no luck with Bron Breakker before, things could dramatically change as The Schism grows.


#2. Apollo Crews returned to NXT to make an impact

Apollo Crews and McKenzie Mitchell
Apollo Crews and McKenzie Mitchell

Apollo Crews is an interesting entry on this list due to finding a fair bit of success in WWE. Crews has been in the professional wrestling industry for 13 years, and he's been signed to World Wrestling Entertainment since 2014.

During Crews' time with the company, he's competed on NXT, RAW, and SmackDown. The star has held both the WWE United States Championship and the Intercontinental Championship during his tenure with the promotion.

Despite Crews' success, he is yet to truly breakout. Moreover, he never became a real contender for a world championship on the main roster. Now that the talented star is back on NXT, this may be his time to shine. With unbelievable athleticism and strength mixed with a serious experience edge over the rest of the roster, don't be shocked to see the 34-year-old as NXT Champion before 2022 is over.


#1. Tony D'Angelo is The Don Of WWE NXT

.@TonyDangeloWWE takes care of a former friend by sending him to sleep with the fishes.@Channing_WWE #WWENXT https://t.co/19C5it2OGe

Tony D'Angelo joined the NXT brand less than a year ago. He had his first match with World Wrestling Entertainment in October 2021. Since then, the young superstar has taken the brand by storm.

The Don Of NXT has been a key figure on NXT 2.0 for the past ten months. He can talk on the microphone, and he's clearly developing well in the ring. While he's still green, he's progressing at a rapid pace and is a regular feature in the championship picture.

One key reason Tony could go on to win a world title is his family. The Tony D'Angelo Family has been beneficial in his career as the numbers advantage typically works out well for superstars, after all. Unfortunately for Tony, Legado del Fantasma parted ways with the group recently, as did Two-Dimes, who now works with All Elite Wrestling. Still, D'Angelo could find himself becoming world champion sooner rather than later.

Several up-and-coming superstars on the WWE NXT brand are ready to make a splash and become world champions for the first time. Whether they accomplish it on NXT, RAW, or SmackDown, don't be surprised if one of the listed stars wins the big one moving forward.

Speaking of champions, click here to learn about how many championship defenses Roman Reigns has had during his record title reign.


Did you know a major backstage fight erupted during WrestleMania 32? More details right here.

Edited by Pratik Singh

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