Predicting the next move of 5 recently released NXT stars

What's next for the likes of Dakota Kai and Malcolm Bivens?
What's next for the likes of Dakota Kai and Malcolm Bivens?
Matthew Serocki

WWE released 10 people from NXT last Friday. Among the names were stalwarts such as Dexter Lumis and Dakota Kai. Malcolm Bivens, Persia Pirotta, and Harland were also unexpected releases.

Reasons for the release of each star varied. Kai reportedly had several tryouts for the main roster but officials had no plans to move her to RAW or SmackDown. She is still a talented and respected performer. Meanwhile Bivens is one of the best managers in the business.

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For Harland, there were rumors that he didn't pick up the art form as quickly as the promotion would have liked. NXT officials will now be a lot quicker to release some stars if they don't show progress in the ring.

Some people pick up professional wrestling faster than others. It could also be a sign that only some of the athletes that WWE signs will be able to pick up the craft.

When it came to Pirotta and Lumis, many were surprised due to their ongoing angle with Indi Hartwell and Duke Hudson.

The releases could have been for a myriad of reasons. One thing is certain -- the former NXT stars that still have a lot to offer in the ring. Here are predictions for what five of them will do next:

#5 Harland might try out for the NFL, USFL or XFL after NXT


Parker Boudreaux was not drafted by the NFL once he finished his collegiate career at Central Florida. He is a physical specimen, so many people thought he could transition to professional wrestling.

The likes of Roman Reigns, Goldberg, The Rock, Brian Pillman, and Happy Corbin all made that switch. Some played in the NFL while others played NCAA football. Harland was soon signed by NXT and touted as a future star.

If he wishes to continue his pro wrestling career, he could try the independent scene or a smaller promotion like MLW. Since he had a chance with WWE, however, he may see that as a step down.

For that reason, he might give football another shot. The USFL just returned this spring and the XFL is looking to return in 2023.

#4 Persia Pirotta would be a good fit with IMPACT Wrestling

Persia Pirotta's release was a surprise. She was consistently featured in NXT in an ongoing angle alongside Indi Hartwell, Dexter Lumis, and Duke Hudson. The Aussie is solid in the ring and offers up a unique blend of size, power, and athleticism.

She seems like a pro wrestling lifer, so she'll likely head to another promotion. Pirotta is still young enough to make her mark in the industry. The former NXT star could go to AEW, but she'll have more of a chance to advance up the card in IMPACT Wrestling.

AEW does feature high-profile WWE female signings (Mercedes Martinez, Ruby Soho, Toni Storm) off the bat, but they then disappear from TV. Several former WWE stars like Matt Cardona, Steve Maclin, and Rich Swann have had success in IMPACT. Pirotta would be a great addition to the the company's roster.

#3 Malcolm Bivens would be a great manager in IMPACT Wrestling

Who will Bivens recruit as his next client?
Who will Bivens recruit as his next client?

Mouthpieces are an important part of pro wrestling. While the "Golden Age of Managers" was a long time ago, they are still a useful vehicle to help some stars. If a performer isn't great on the mic, they are often paired with an advocate. That's partially why Von Wagner is now with Mr. Stone.

Malcolm Bivens was arguably one of the weekly highlights of NXT. He talked the talk and allowed the Creeds to do their speaking in the ring. Now that he is gone from NXT, he'll land on his feet in another promotion.

AEW has coaches and advocates, but Bivens has too much natural charisma to just be a coach or advocate. If he doesn't return to MLW, it would be a no-brainer to add him to IMPACT. He could build his own stable to compete with the likes of Violent By Design, Bullet Club, and Honor No More.

#2 Dexter Lumis will head back to IMPACT Wrestling

Dexter Lumis will no longer be by the side of Indi Hartwell in NXT.
Dexter Lumis will no longer be by the side of Indi Hartwell in NXT.

Sam Shaw portrayed a stalker of sorts in IMPACT before he signed with WWE and NXT. The Dexter Lumis character was a variation of a previous persona from IMPACT.

He "stalked" Christy Hemme and even spent time in an asylum during an angle. AEW is more reality-based, but it does have the House of Black. Other than that, however, the focus is more on in-ring skills compared to major character work.

To maximize the work of his career, Shaw should return to IMPACT. He could add what he has learned in NXT to his prior character. With Decay still around, he could go a bit darker. He could also simply play a silent artist with a new cast of characters.

#1 Dakota Kai should also join IMPACT

Many companies will try to add a talent like Dakota Kai.
Many companies will try to add a talent like Dakota Kai.

IMPACT recently lost the services of Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay. The two had a brief, albeit successful, run after being released by WWE. They won the IMPACT Women's Tag Team titles and were regularly featured. Their departure leaves a void to fill for two other stars.

Kai was one of the most trusted veterans in NXT. She could fill one of those two spots. AEW could be a good home as it has two singles titles. The new promotion, however, still pushes its own home-grown stars rather than former WWE women.

Ruby Soho had a title shot but quickly disappeared. Toni Storm is enjoying the same inaugural push. If she doesn't win the Owen Hart Tournament, she may quietly fade back into the division like Soho.

If Kai decides to stay in the United States, joining IMPACT could be her best bet. She could compete for singles or tag team gold in the promotion.

We asked Bret Hart what he thought of Vince McMahon retiring right here

live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Where should Dakota Kai go next after NXT?

IMPACT Wrestling


87 votes so far

Edited by Anirudh


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