In previous editions of Job Opportunities we’ve taken multiple looks back at some of the biggest WWE losers who went on to become huge stars and even dipped our toes into the absurd standing water of World Championship Wrestling, but this week we’re stepping through the yellow ropes.
NXT originally started back in 2010 as a hybrid pro wrestling reality competition show, and while we’ll definitely touch on some of our favorite “NXT rookies” in the future, we’re going to be focusing on a few familiar faces who’ve stopped by since NXT became a “brand” in 2012. This’ll be our first coverage of the Full Sail era so expect more, and make sure you read until the end for some bonus pre-NXT NXT faces.
Up first, why don’t we start with the Extreme Rules 2019 main event?
Long before he was boring Raw and pay-per-view audiences to death as pro wrestling’s most violent and infantile foodserver — and even before he was the “Lone Wolf” character who might’ve been a motorcycle-enthusiast werewolf, we never got confirmation — Baron Corbin (Esquire) was popping up in enhancement talent roles at NXT live events as early as 2012. Here he is teaming up with “Travis Tyler,” aka the National Wrestling League’s hilariously named “The Mile High Magnum” Dak Draper, to lose to an early incarnation of the Revival (Garrett Dylan and Scott Dawson) in 2013. Look at that hairline! He had no idea the skullet days were right around the corner.
He’d also pop up from time to time as a fired-up babyface, like when he sprints to the ring to face Damien Sandow while yelling “COME ON! COME ON!” at the crowd. For want of a nail, Baron Corbin could’ve been our generation’s Ricky Steamboat.
… probably not.