It's a common joke among those of us who follow WWE's in-house feeder promotion NXT..."I hope such-and-such a wrestler doesn't get 'sent down' to the main roster".
For fans, it's both a critique of the product we get on Monday, Thursday and Sunday nights, and a realization that the Florida-based Performance Center is a unique oasis on the pro wrestling landscape. With the big budget of Raw but the intimate setting of Lucha Underground, NXT is the best of all worlds.
So it shouldn't be a surprise when NXT champ Finn Bálor says things like this to Sam Roberts when asked about a "call-up":
I really believe that what we're doing here in the [WWE] Performance Center [and] what we're doing with NXT is something that's going to be remembered for years. I feel like to get quote, unquote called up to the main roster would be, maybe, like a step back for my career right [now]. Obviously, instant gratification, you get called up to the main roster, that's great, but I think what we're doing here in NXT will stand longer in history as kind of like a revolutionary period and to kind of pull myself out of that would be detrimental to my career in the long term.
The answer makes a ton of sense. He's not only right - not even a singular talent like Kevin Owens has gone straight to the main roster main event scene from NXT - but he's also saying exactly what his boss Triple H wants him to say while he grows the brand into WWE's indie.
Is he going too far and risking pissing off future boss Vince McMahon?
This is probably below the Chairman's radar, and McMahon understands the business being done here anyway. You never know in the thin-skinned world of pro graps, however. And this certainly could be used as an example of his not wanting to "grab the brass ring".
Do you agree with the Irishman that he's better off in "developmental"? Is he being unambitious? Potentially damaging his future prospects?
Let us know what you think, Cagesiders!