There are still more questions than answers about what exactly is going on with the four NXT Superstars who were unexpectedly brought to the main roster this week. Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet & Aleister Black have looked like worldbeaters on the Feb. 18 Raw and the Feb. 19 SmackDown. There’s a ton of intrigue about how their move will be addressed on tonight’s episode of NXT - and the black-and-yellow brand’s Feb. 20 taping at Full Sail Live.
The latest Wrestling Observer Radio (subscription required but recommended) provides some information about what went down. Dave Meltzer and his sources didn’t have answers about what the long-term plan is for the NXT stories of Ciampa, Gargano or any of the four, but it does seem they’ll continue to be pushed there and on the main roster:
“So those guys are going to be working Raw, SmackDown, and NXT at least for now and being put over like crazy on all of them.”
Not surprising, WOR’s report says Vince McMahon made the call to bring them in. Apparently it was a result of the Chairman feeling “off” after a week of news which included more bad ratings reports and word Undertaker would be appearing at the All Elite Wrestling’s adjacent Starrcast II event.
“Vince is reacting to the ratings, I think there’s a reaction to AEW and basically he wanted to get wrestlers on Raw now and so you know he’s not that up on NXT, but it was essentially, ‘Who are the four best guys?’ These are the four best guys, I guess.”
Triple H didn’t know. There was a communication thing there. So he just wanted those four guys. I’m not sure whether he picked them or whether he was told that these are the guys.”
When Triple H - who as he said on Raw, oversees everything in NXT - did find out, he worked to rearrange some things to better showcase the incoming talent. One match Meltzer says was changed was Ricochet’s. He was originally set to face Finn Bálor in a singles match, but that was changed to tagging with Bálor against Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush because Haitch was concerned how the crowd would react to a face vs. face match, and didn’t think either the new Intercontinental champion or the debuting sensation should lose.
If this report is true, it probably didn’t leave time to consider NXT storylines, and may have left the plans for April 5’s TakeOver: New York in disarray. It would also seem to shake things up for WrestleMania, if four new stars will be heavily promoted on the road to Showcase of the Immortals that same weekend.