Opinion: Aleister Black should move to the main roster when he returns from injury
It looked like Aleister Black was going to be the NXT for a long time - the NXT Champion, an immense fan favourite, and a man who offers something so completely different to anyone else on the roster, yet it wasn't a huge surprise when he lost the title to Tomasso Ciampa on NXT television with Johnny Gargano interfering.
While Black has been one of NXT's biggest success stories of recent, Ciampa vs Gargano had found itself being even bigger than the title, and with Ciampa turning his attention to the gold, it always seemed likely that Black may drop the belt. Well, thanks to some shenanigans, Ciampa did win - but Black found himself embroiled in the monumental rivalry and in a Triple Threat Match to try to win his belt back.
Sadly, a groin injury has wiped out those chances with Black being removed from the match at TakeOver Brooklyn - but I firmly believe he should never return to NXT again upon recovering.
There's no doubt Black's NXT run has been a huge success. From debuting as Tommy End against Lince Dorado at a house show to his contest with Neville during the WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, Black was on fire in WWE before the name Aleister Black was even born.
But he's no longer needed on NXT - and should be allowed to prove his worth on WWE's blue or red brand.
You may have noticed I was careful not to use the word "debut" as pertains to Black being called up to the main roster. That's because he's technically already debuted on the main roster, defeating Curt Hawkins on WWE Main Event during a European tour.
Black's run in NXT has been incredible. One of the most dominant Superstars ever to set foot between the yellow ropes. Black has run through the NXT roster thus far with some very impressive matches along the way - not least the culmination of his feud against Velveteen Dream. In fact, his time has been so impressively dominant that Black has only been pinned by three men in WWE.
At the NXT Year-End Awards, Black won three awards for Rivalry of the Year (with Velveteen Dream), Breakout Star of the Year, and Male Competitor of the Year and, after defeating Andrade "Cien" Almas at NXT TakeOver New Orleans for the NXT Championship during WrestleMania weekend, there are not many other things left to do in NXT when he returns.
While slipping Black into the Gargano vs Ciampa story was done in such a clever way that it made perfect sense, returning to it when he makes his comeback would make it feel a bit stale. Black was ruled out of the Triple Threat Match due to a groin injury sustained at a house show, but WWE opted to have someone attack him in a car park to make the injury canon.
While I think the match was set to be his swansong, in writing Black off television, WWE have created an unnecessary loose end, meaning he may have to return to NXT and seek vengeance on his attacker.
But I think this is a mistake. The main roster could definitely do with Aleister Black. He's something different, and incredibly so. The main roster has never seen anything like Aleister Black - the dark, gothic character whose mystery draws in the crowd and has them hanging on every single move, and one whose athleticism and in-ring nuances only further the notion.
Black is essentially a modern-day vampire, something hinted at through his astounding entrance - and we all know WWE loves a star with a good entrance. But the timing is perfect for such a subtle character to exist.
If Aleister Black existed 20 years ago, you bet he'd be giving blood baths and wearing fangs, but thankfully the subtleties only accentuate Black's character, and it looks like WWE value him so high that, if recent patterns are followed, he'll be appearing on Raw or SmackDown very soon.
While the roster is incredibly stacked right now, the injury list is also ever-growing, and there's always going to be a place in the squared circle for a man as unique as Aleister Black.