For the bulk of the last year, WWE’s NXT brand has been firmly under the thumb of Bobby Roode. The man was a sensation based on this theme song alone, but when he captured the NXT Championship in January, he redefined what a main event heel could look like in NXT. After his 203-day reign as the brand’s top champ came to an end over SummerSlam weekend, the writing was on the wall that he wouldn’t be down in NXT for much longer.
And sure enough, after rumors swirled that WWE was interested in making Roode a main event main-roster heel, he made his big Smackdown Live debut a couple of weeks ago. The next evening, his last televised NXT match against Roderick Strong aired. But like Tye Dillinger and the Revival before him, he still had some NXT live shows to go before he bid his final, official farewell to those yellow ropes.
Over the weekend, the Toronto native was part of NXT’s show in St. Catharines, Ontario, and got to bid farewell to the NXT fans in his home province. Luckily, it was captured on official WWE video (or at least on an official WWE phone), and now we get to see his glorious farewell for ourselves.
“I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. For the last year and a half, I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the WWE, and most importantly, being a part of this brand, NXT. It has been the most gratifying year and a half of my entire, almost 20-year, career. This is my last tour with NXT before I continue on the road with Smackdown, and there couldn’t be a better end story than to finish up here in my home country, in front of all my Canadian fans, and my family and my friends.
“So for the last year and a half, you guys have — most of you have hated me, and I’m not gonna front, it’s been kinda fun. And after claiming — since I became the champion, which I held for almost 200 days, by the way — that this was my NXT. But from this point forward, this is your NXT. This is [Drew McIntyre’s] NXT. This is all the guys and the girls and the coaches, everybody back there, everyone at the Performance Center, it’s their NXT. And they’re going to continue to build this brand to be the hottest brand in sports entertainment. Thank you very much.”
Roode will be missed in NXT, but his act was always destined for the main roster anyway. And luckily, there’s a red-hot heel in Adam Cole who has already swept in to take his place and be Drew McIntyre’s nemesis at the top of the card. Now we all just need to get back to Roode actually acting like a heel and everything will be pretty much perfect.