As stars move from NXT to either RAW or SmackDown, spots open up on the Black and Gold brand for newer stars. Those newer stars are mostly WWE Performance Center recruits. While the range of readiness of those recruits differs, it still belies that new faces will show up in NXT every year.
On the New Year's Evil episode of NXT, both Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley lost big matches. There have been some reports that one or both will be joining the main roster this month or may even appear in the 2021 Royal Rumble. With NXT stars appearing in the Rumble every year since 2015, that's certainly not out of the question.
As big names move to the main roster, others rise up the rungs of the pecking order. While the likes of Shotzi Blackheart and Dakota Kai have already had NXT Women's Championship title shots, perhaps one or both could capture the title in 2021. The departures also allow for different stars to be featured. With such a talented and deep roster of wrestlers to use, someone like Bronson Reed only started reappearing on NXT TV a few weeks ago.
With new stars joining the WWE PC every quarter, there are certainly some current prospects that are either ready to debut imminently or that will do so some time this year. Here are five WWE PC recruits that will make the debuts for NXT in 2021. All of these selections are already under contract with WWE/NXT.
#6 Josh Briggs could debut on NXT in 2021
Josh Briggs was the final EVOLVE Champion, beating Austin Theory for the title at EVOLVE 139. He was featured on the 10th Anniversary Show, which also featured NXT/WWE stars Adam Cole, Akira Tozawa, Riddle, and Drew Gulak.
For the last five years or so, EVOLVE has acted as a type of feeder system to NXT. Current WWE stars like Keith Lee, Drew McIntyre, Walter, Kyle O'Reilly, Shotzi Blackheart, Ricochet, and Timothy Thatcher all made stops at EVOLVE before eventually signing with WWE.
Briggs is a big brawler who has the size (6 feet, 8 inches) that Vince McMahon likes in his stars. Some stars from EVOLVE (August Grey, Leon Ruff) debuted rather quickly for NXT since they already had the top eyes of the brand on them over the years. While a big guy like Damian Priest might be leaving the Black and Gold brand soon, it won't be long before another big guy like Briggs takes his place.