As the curtain falls on 2023, it's time to reflect on WWE's tumultuous year and the varying fortunes of its star-studded roster. The landscape of WWE was significantly altered this year, notably with the buzzworthy return of CM Punk, casting a long shadow over many superstars.
In this ever-evolving arena, NXT emerges as a vital platform for rejuvenation and redefinition for several superstars. Odyssey Jones, whose journey was marred by a 2022 injury, was drafted to RAW in 2023. Yet, his presence on the main roster has been ghost-like, confined to dark matches on the SmackDown brand, a peculiar situation given his assignment to RAW.
A strategic retreat to NXT could provide Odyssey with much-needed visibility and momentum.
NXT Comeback for Kross
Despite his confrontations with top-tier stars like Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns, Karin Kross has struggled to resonate with the primary roster audience.
His NXT tenure, marked by dominance, suggests a return could rekindle the spark in his career. Cedric Alexander, a former cruiserweight and Hurt Business standout, has yet to be able to carve his niche on the main roster, overshadowed by more flamboyant personalities.
NXT's focus on in-ring prowess over theatrics could provide Cedric the perfect stage to showcase his talent. The Good Brothers, international tag team stalwarts, have yet to impact WWE's main roster significantly. Rumored to be in WWE as a nod to AJ Styles, a shift to NXT could allow them to demonstrate their true worth in a more wrestling-focused environment.
Austin Theory's premature prominent roster promotion might have backfired. Despite a high-profile WrestleMania match against John Cena, Theory is losing ground. A return to NXT, where he previously shined, might catalyze his resurgence.
Randy Orton's career trajectory has been unique. Despite strong fan support, his momentum was disrupted by a long-term back injury and overshadowed by CM Punk's return. Orton's enthusiasm and experience could be invaluable to NXT, providing a mentorship role while reigniting his career.
These strategic shifts to NXT are vital for these WWE superstars, offering a chance to recalibrate and reassert themselves in the ever-competitive world of professional wrestling.