When NXT was re-launched in its current incarnation, fans knew right away that there would be a whole lot of changes. It was more than a mere facelift. This was more replacing the entire head.
NXT 2.0 has not been the darling of critics and observers like its predecessor was, although the product has been steadily improving over the last few weeks. They've blended some of their more promising prospects into angles with WWE veterans here and there.
The parent company's new approach has had more of an eye on development from their third brand, rather than it being a stand-alone show/promotion unto itself.
Former main roster competitor Mandy Rose was assigned to NXT amidst all these changes. At the time, most fans basically looked at it as a demotion and figured that Rose had fallen out of favor.
Except, she didn't. Rose wasn't being sent 'down' as punishment. She was there to help bring a couple of young stars 'up'. Her alliance with Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne has elevated both young prospects, as they captured the NXT Women's Tag Team Championships.
Meanwhile, Rose has been doing rather well for herself as well. She's held the women's title since last October and isn't showing any signs of vulnerability.
As the leader of Toxic Attraction, Mandy Rose is dominating the NXT Women's Division right now
The faction has shown that there truly is strength in numbers. Since banding together, they've seen unprecedented success - dominating not just the titles, but also garnering a lot of television time.
Rose is clearly a dominant personality, and her name carries a lot of sway because she's already appeared on WWE television. Most notably as a member or Absolution - originally with Paige and Sonya Deville.
Upon Paige's departure, the remaining two members stayed together as Fire and Desire. Rose and her real-life best friend, Deville, never captured tag team gold and eventually disbanded.
At that point, Rose's stock couldn't have been any lower. While she's clearly a great athlete and has the looks that WWE loves, she has yet to experience the same success as some of her contemporaries.
The switch to NXT breathed new life into Rose and her career. It was almost as if she was down on the canvas and somehow beat the ten-count. Then she came up swinging.
Today, she's the number one female performer on the brand. With her Toxic Attraction stablemates watching her back, there's no telling how long she might be standing at the top of the mountain.
Most of the ladies on the roster either don't have enough experience or aren't marketable enough to replace the current champ. While young prospect Nikkita Lyons has been earmarked to be elevated to that role eventually, she isn't quite ready yet. Veteran performer Wendy Choo took her shot at In Your House and fell short.
So, the question is: Who is going to eventually be the one who ends Mandy Rose's dominant reign?
As of right now, likely no one. Rose is doing everything right in that spot and there's no reason to rush to a new titleholder. WWE will likely be looking to move Toxic Attraction to the main roster at some point, so there's nothing wrong with letting them dominate the technicolor brand for a while.
When WWE finally plucks this Rose, she will be in full bloom, thanks to this current experience. The longer she stays atop the throne in NXT, the more she will be prepared to reign over the main roster someday.
The Judgment Day vs. The Bloodline? We asked Damian Priest if this could happen. More details here.