5 WWE stars who received an emotional NXT farewell (and what happened next)
Over 80 percent of the Superstars on Raw and SmackDown Live have been part of NXT at some point over the last decade, including WrestleMania main-eventers Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Now, with the exception of a title win, the highest honour that an NXT Superstar can receive is when they are given an emotional farewell in front of the likes of Triple H, William Regal and the rest of their colleagues and the NXT Universe.
This is usually a sign that they are destined for major things on the main roster. However, in some cases, the next step of their career does not always go according to plan.
In this article, let’s count down five Superstars who received a memorable NXT send-off and take a look at how they were presented on the main roster in the months that followed.
#5 Shinsuke Nakamura
When did Shinsuke Nakamura leave NXT?
After two reigns as NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura left the brand in April 2017 and became a member of the SmackDown Live roster following his defeat against Bobby Roode at NXT TakeOver: Orlando.
The Japanese star mentioned during an in-ring promo that NXT will always be “home”, prompting applause (and even some tears) from the crowd. He then bowed to the fans as his “Rising Sun” music played in the Full Sail arena.
What happened next to Shinsuke Nakamura?
Nakamura emerged as the winner of two relatively underwhelming PPV rivalries with Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin following his move to the main roster.
He also picked up statement victories over John Cena and Randy Orton on SmackDown Live during that time, earning an opportunity at Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship.
Unfortunately for “The King of Strong Style”, he was unable to win the title from Mahal in 2017 or from AJ Styles the following year, and his 2018 Royal Rumble triumph remains his greatest WWE accomplishment to date.