When Shinsuke Nakamura lost his NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, speculation immediately began about whether he might be bound for the main WWE roster. Then he won the title back less than two weeks later. Whoops! But with the Road to WrestleMania coming up — and a new No. 1 contender having been crowned recently — Nakamura still might be getting called up soon.
But according to Triple H, roster call-ups no longer mean the same thing they used to. In fact, he wants fans to start rethinking what they know and how they feel about NXT stars moving to the “main” roster. In a new interview with ESPN UK, the high chieftain of NXT talked about Nakamura coming to the main roster, and pointed out that it doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” situation with “call-ups” going forward.
“One of the things that’s funny to me — I always laugh at it — is when people say to me, ‘I watch Nakamura every week in NXT. I don’t know why they don’t put him on Raw so I can watch him on Raw every week,” WWE executive Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque told ESPN, pulling a confused facial expression.
“You’re getting to see him, right? You’re getting to see him doing what he does, in a big way. The opportunities are there. He’s got that clean path now to get here, when he gets here he might go there, he might go back.”
That’s the new world we’re living in, now that NXT is a viable, touring promotion that has its own fans and sells out its own shows all over the world. NXT “call-ups” might not be forever, and they don’t have to be the only indicator of success in WWE. Nakamura is (reportedly) making really good money to be the face of NXT, and while I’m sure he’d like to be on the main roster eventually, there’s a lot to be said for putting an entire brand (or branch, or arm, or “vertical,” or whatever term you want to use) on your back and helping make it a viable entity.
Having said that, I’d be surprised if Nakamura didn’t end up being on the WrestleMania card in some capacity. And after Triple H’s comments, now I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved back to NXT at some point after that. Time is a flat circle, all rosters are now one roster, and everything you know is different. Kind of.