The average life cycle of an NXT Superstar goes like this: get signed (either with or without already being a massive indie star, which will determine whether you get a pre-debut selfie with Triple H), then work really hard at the Performance Center at at Full Sail, at which point you will become a cult hero to everyone who watches NXT. At that point, fans will demand that you get called up to the WWE main roster, at which time the cycle will turn to instantly bemoaning that the main roster doesn’t know how to properly utilize NXT characters.
I’m being half-facetious with all this cynicism, but there have been a whole bunch of NXT Superstars (in the modern era of NXT) who have graduated to the main roster and become varying degrees of big deal by now, from the Wyatt Family, to Finn Bálor, to the Four Horsewomen (or at least the Four Horsewomen who aren’t Bayley), to Enzo Amore and Big Cass.
Metro in the United Kingdom recently spoke to NXT general manager and talent scout William Regal about which NXT star he’s been the proudest of. What followed was some serious gushing, from one boss to another.
“I don’t really like singling anyone out, but Sasha Banks. I’ve known her since she was 18, and the previous people that were doing what I’m doing now wouldn’t even give her the time of day. When I was asked by Triple H to be part of that team, of which there is nobody still here who was in the team at the time, I kept asking to bring her in, to which people replied ‘Oh no, there is nothing in her, she’s useless.’ Sasha was the first person I went to bat for, and her development is a great thing to see.”
Sasha and Charlotte are arguably the two most successful NXT graduates at this point (in terms of championships won, if nothing else, but they’ve gained legions of fans and sold loads of merchandise, as well as making a bunch of history together). But Sasha didn’t have the head start of being the daughter of one of the most famous, accomplished, and beloved wrestlers of all time. That’s a pretty big head start, you know.