It’s here, folks. Finally, it’s here. The best night in wrestling has finally come back to us. Once again, the spectacle of the “Post-Mania Raw” has graced us with its presence. Personally, this is my favorite night in professional wrestling. The night after WrestleMania has become a spectacle nearly as large as the show itself.
The fans are, as the commentators just love to note, are rowdier than usual. The crowd is always white-hot and loves to speak its collective mind through utterly wacky chants. Usually, some surprise returns will happen, and maybe some surprise debuts or retirements. And while that’s all fine and good, what does it mean for the yellow brand, NXT?
Post-Mania Raw Implications for NXT
Goodbye, Old Friends
Since the inception of NXT, there has been a Post-Mania Raw tradition. Each and every year, a few NXT superstars move up to the main roster. These “call-ups” happen at different intervals throughout the year, but Post-Mania Raw is most common. Last year, the call-ups were Enzo and Cass and Apollo Crews, among others. This year, fans can expect Shinsuke Nakamura and possibly DIY to see the main roster.
Now, what does this mean for NXT? Well, I’ve got good news and I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. First off, the bad news. This really thins out the yellow brand’s roster. Sure, Bobby Roode is still NXT Champion. However, who is going to face him now that Nakamura, his archenemy, is gone? Well, there are a few ideas, but more on that later. Now, the good news. This means that Raw is getting some fresh faces very soon. And for a show that often becomes boring for average fans, a talent influx is fantastic. As for NXT, they might be getting some fresh faces too. What does that mean, you ask?
New But Familiar Faces
This is all good news for our good old yellow brand. During his first stint with WWE, Drew McIntyre showed amazing potential. Of course, he became a shell of himself later on (looking at you, 3MB), but his early career was great. But at Takeover: Orlando, he showed his face to the McMahon family once more.
At one point in the event, the cameras found McIntyre looking on from the crowd. Soon after the end of Takeover, Drew McIntyre made his intentions known. Turns out that the main reason he was there was to sign with NXT. Now, does this mean that McIntyre will be winning the NXT Championship immediately? Perhaps not, but he seems to be next in line. Although Kassius Ohno looked to be the heir to the Glorious One’s throne, McIntyre looks to have replaced him. Things get crazy like this sometimes on NXT, maybe we’ll just have to see how it goes.
Conclusion: “It’s Time To Shake Things Up Again”
Vince McMahon likes to say that a lot, that’s a fact. In most cases, this simple phrase sees the light of day during the WWE Draft. And truthfully, that makes a lot of sense, as the landscapes of the company’s shows change. However, it might be appropriate to use it during each year’s Post-Mania Raw. Outside of the Draft, this is the one night of the WWE year where everything shifts.
When it comes to Raw itself, they get an influx of talent that they so desperately need. New faces keep the show fresh and create new storylines that can captivate fans. Especially with the Hardy Boyz winning the red brand’s tag titles at WrestleMania 33, that division is sure to see a make-over. Perhaps fans could see The Revival tonight? In any case, Raw is in good shape at this time each year.
NXT seems like it would be worse for wear after Post-Mania Raw, right? Well, not exactly. Truthfully, this is what the yellow brand is built for. NXT is, as of right now, a developmental territory. They bring in new stars, groom them for the main roster, and then wait for said main roster to call them up. The landscape of NXT is forever changing, and they are equipped to handle a night like this.
The Raw after WrestleMania is a spectacle every year, and NXT knows that. With the additions they have made recently, they are ready to take a hit as some stars move up to the main roster. It’s going to happen anyways, and fans should just trust Triple H. Everything he has touched on the yellow brand has turned to gold, and this upcoming year in wrestling should be no different.