Thursday, December 24, 2015

NXT Advent Calendar Day 24: The NXT Top 10 for the end of 2015

Another Takeover is behind us, and that means it is time to take a look at the top ten stars in NXT once again. Last time Bayley took the top spot. This time several new stars and teams have changed the complexion of the list entirely. Just a reminder: The first number in parentheses is the wrestler's previous rank (a U means unranked) and the second number is their number of times ranked on this list consecutively.

  1. Sami Zayn: Having just returned to NXT during the UK tour, Zayn's position as part of NXT's future is still a bit unclear. But just his presence changes the complexion of NXT for the better. (U/1) 
  2. Apollo Crews: After an amazing run since Takeover: Brooklyn, it is hard to argue that his first in ring loss to Baron Corbin hurt a lot of Apollo's momentum. It remains to be seen whether he can pick himself up again and re-enter the NXT title picture sooner rather than later. (5/2)
  3. Emma: Takeover: London can only be described as a success for Emma, even in a loss. For the first time since Arrival, she looked like a seriously contender for the NXT Women's Title. She might not be first in line, but that opener cemented her as an important part of the current NXT roster. (U/1)
  4. Jason Jordan & Chad Gable: The mat wrestling masters are in a great place now as the fan support since Takeover Respect has transformerd them into a team everyone wants to see. They have nothing but upside going into 2016 and the Assistplex is easily the move of the year in 2015. (6/2)
  5. Dash & Dawson: Dash & Dawson proved their ability as an old school wrestling machine in their battle against Enzo & Cass in London. And while they might not be the biggest stars NXT currently has, more moves like the amazing Super Shatter Machine they pulled off could up their profile even more. (U/1)
  6. Baron Corbin: Love him or hate him, Baron Corbin finally looks like a superstar rather than a man being forced down fan's throats. While his attitude both in ring and out of it (as shown on Breaking Ground) is the kind of thing that rubs people the wrong way, he certainly seems ready to take his place in a main event feud with Finn Balor. (9/2)
  7. Asuka: The fans love her, she's completely convincing in the ring and her crazy demeanor makes every move work to perfection. The former Kana is poised to innovate women's wrestling in WWE come 2016. After a potential battle with Nia Jax, she seems poised to challenge Bayley at Takeover: Dallas come Wrestlemania weekend. (7/2)
  8. Bayley: After two classic matches against Sasha Banks, her match with Nia Jax can only feel like a demotion. But her fight from behind babyface win over Jax continues to help Bayley grow as a top star and finally gives her a submission move to match the other Four Horsewomen. (1/2)
  9. Samoa Joe: Samoa Joe looked dominant against Finn Balor with only luck seeming to allow the champ to walk out as the winner in London. While it is anyone's guess where their feud goes next, I suspect Joe and Balor are not done by a longshot. A future program with Apollo Crews could also serve to make both men shine brighter in 2016. (4/2)
  10. Finn Balor: Back atop the NXT roster firmly after his Jack the Ripper entrance and astounding victory over Samoa Joe, Finn is in a strange place in NXT. No one can argue he's not ready to become a massive star on the main roster with an entrance second only to the Undertaker at this point and a wrestling style that could make him the next Daniel Bryan or CM Punk in ring. Now it seems to be just a waiting game for Finn to take his place as a top star of the main brand as he has NXT. (3/2)

Finn takes on Jack the Ripper. Image credit: Uproxx via WWE Network.

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