It’s WrestleMania season and it seems WWE are starting to change up their roster in preparation for it.
WWE always plucks from NXT. It’s their third brand, but ostensibly and certainly originally, it was WWE’s developmental brand.
Since moving to network TV, NXT has operated a little differently, but WWE has still taken some of it’s biggest stars to the main roster like Mia Yim, Keith Lee, Riddle and Dominik Dijakovic in the past six months.
Now, PW Insider is reporting that Rhea Ripley and Damien Priest are main roster bound.
Both Priest and Ripley suffered defeats at NXT’s New Year’s Evil this week to Karrion Kross and Raquel Gonzalez respectively.
That seems to be a signal for moving on and while not the only determining factor, Riddle lost to Timothy Thatcher and Lee to Cross before making the jump.
Ripley is just 24 years old and one of the most promising stars in the world. The Aussie has already featured on the big stage having defended the women’s title against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36 in a losing effort.
Still, it was one of the best WrestleMania openers in recent memory and many fans pine for Ripley getting her revenge on Flair after it was Io Shirai who took the title from The Queen.
Priest has been rumoured to be set for SmackDown with WWE looking into various storylines to introduce him.
At 38 tears old, Priest is at the other end of the scale to Ripley but he has really impressed over the past six months or so with some stellar TakeOver performances.
Losing either talent is something NXT would feel, but by the very nature of the brand, they’re always going to have a turnover of talent. That’s one advantage AEW will always have over NXT; they can build their roster and keep adding to it while NXT add to replace.
While there’s no concrete plans in place for either Ripley or Priest right now, it seems their time in NXT is up.