NXT 2.0 promised new stars. Which new faces are making the best impressions?
Wrestling fans were rightly nervous when NXT 2.0 was announced. We loved NXT 1.0, and did not want to see something so wonderful messed with. For a number of years NXT was the best wrestling product in the world. So when it was announced that it would get a rebrand and reports emerged that it was going back to focusing on “new stars”, we got scared.
So far NXT 2.0 has given us some new stars to cheer for. Not all of the new acts have hit, but let’s keep things positive. Here are three acts in NXT 2.0 that have done well so far, and a look at their floor & ceiling going forward.
The most heavily-pushed new star out the gate is the son of Rick Steiner. Now going by the alliterative name Bron Breakker (which sounds like the final boss in a side-scroller beat-em-up), Breakker was vaulted to the NXT Championship picture. At Halloween Havoc he lost to champion Tommaso Ciampa. So far Breakker has proven he is worthy of a role as a future main-eventer. He’s got strength and speed, and has his uncle Scott Steiner’s promo cadence. That could be a negative to some, but it’s a positive to me. Breakker has the best bet of any talent to become NXT Champion one day. On the main roster, Breakker can slot into a role as an upper midcard hoss and could probably play both face and heel effectively.
Floor: Gene Snitsky, but less punting babies
Ceiling: Scott Steiner, naturally.
The current NXT North American Champion, Hayes debuted prior to the launch of NXT 2.0. He won the NXT Breakout Tournament and then parlayed that to winning the North American Title in October from Isaiah Swerve Scott. Since then, Hayes and his friend Trick Williams have been one of the best acts in NXT. He’s put on great matches in tags and as a singles star. His trip through the Gargano haunted house was one of the best parts of Halloween Havoc. Hayes has skills, charisma, and a high ceiling at only 27 years old. He can be a main event player on Mondays or Fridays if given the opportunity.
Floor: Shelton Benjamin with better mic skills
Ceiling: American Finn Balor (minus the demon)
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Mandy Rose is not a new face to WWE fans. She’s been around since Tough Enough (remember Tough Enough?) and carved out a role on the main roster since 2017. She has returned to NXT and found gold alongside Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne. The trio has the Women’s Championship (Mandy Rose) and the Women’s Tag Titles (Dolin & Jayne). WWE has had a few different women’s trios, like Team B.A.D and PCB, but there may be none better than this one. They’ve got a good look, Rose has only improved in the ring over time, and Dolin & Jayne are only 24 years old. If WWE allows them to stick together, the sky’s the limit.
Floor: Absolution, with Rose in Paige’s place
Ceiling: WWE’s best women’s group, on par with TNA’s The Beautiful People