How successful will the rest of 2019's NXT callups be?
The time for NXT call ups has increasingly become one of trepidation to fans, rather than one of anticipation. We don't need to look far to see why this is the case. The most recent call ups have been sparsely used, telling us that the company doesn't even know what to do with them. Just these past two weeks, EC3, the NXT debutante who appeared to be best suited to the main roster, wasn't allowed to give a good impression.
So, what does that say about the bigger NXT call ups to come, the ones that went on to much more notable success at Full Sail?
A few big names come to mind as likely call ups this year, either after WrestleMania or SummerSlam, which is when the yellow brand's big stars typically land on the main roster. How successful will they be? That comes down to their talents and the role they'll likely be called on to play.
Aleister Black's name has swirled around a lot in recent months as a potential NXT call up. With his unsuccessful attempt to recapture the NXT Championship from Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, where he suffered his first clean loss on the yellow brand, it would seem that there isn't much left for him to do at Full Sail. The recent TV tapings suggested this, where he appeared to have little direction.
Aleister Black has a lot of things going for him that could help him succeed on the main roster. He has a unique look, one of the best entrances in WWE today, and is brimming with physical charisma, not needing to say much or anything at all to get his point across. This helps, because while he's serviceable on a microphone, he's not among the company's best talkers. He also brings a unique in-ring style, with the best strikes in the company and one of the coolest finishers out there, one which can come from nowhere and help him get over. Judging by his reactions at the Royal Rumble, he's already got a following, and impressed people with his performance.
On the other hand, there is a risk factor for Black. It's possible that Vince McMahon either views him as an inferior Undertaker or saddles him with a silly, hokey, supernatural gimmick in the manner that eventually ruined Bray Wyatt. It's also possible that the weekly shows will overexpose him. Weekly television could steadily chip away at Black's mystique, especially with more opportunities for the main roster writers to make mistakes.
Verdict: Black will probably do well for himself, as his gimmick lends itself well to huge programs. He won't be the top guy in the company, but he could be a constant upper midcard and main event presence, probably with at least one World Title run. SmackDown would be the better fit for him and he could potentially be the top babyface on that brand, especially if AJ Styles goes to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup.