Coming off an incredibly successful TakeOver event in Orlando that saw feuds end and progress, many questions emerged. What new rivalries will be born? Which superstars saw their NXT careers come to an end on their way to the main roster? But perhaps most importantly, stemming off that second question, what talent will take the necessary steps to ensure they will be elevated to the next level?
Question one remains to be seen, but will surely begin to develop in the coming weeks.
Question two was answered just days after TakeOver. One of the teams involved in Saturday's epic NXT Tag Team elimination Championship match and one of the greatest teams in the history of NXT, The Revival, graduated to the RAW roster. The two-time NXT Tag Team Champions made an immediate impact as they so frequently did in NXT with a win over WrestleMania 33 hosts, the New Day.
The call-ups continued the next night on SmackDown Live when Tye Dillinger and two-time NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura made their anticipated debuts.
Question three saw its layers begin to peel on Wednesday night.
Just one week ago, "The Drifter" Elias Samson supposedly saw his NXT career come to an end with a loss to Kassius Ohno in a "Loser Leaves NXT" match. Even with a quality effort, Samson lost, was escorted out by security, and much to his dismay, had his guitar destroyed by Ohno to the crowd's delight.
A new guitar appeared in the Amway Center this week, but it wasn't carried by "The Drifter" we've come to know. It was carried by El Vagabundo.
Intentionally obvious, El Vagabundo was Samson donning a lucha mask.
Samson, who had been a heat-generating machine throughout his NXT career, frequently serenading opponents and audiences alike with his painfully dreary melodies became an instant hit with this particular crowd. His attempt to cheat the system and sneak his way back into an NXT ring was appreciated and applauded by the Orlando crowd as he squared off against Oney Lorcan.
Prior to the opening bell, Lorcan -- the supposed babyface in this match -- interrupted Vagabundo's version of a depressing song claiming that he knew he was Samson. The crowd was into Vagabundo, hook, line and sinker and wanted no part of Lorcan's attempt to ruin Samson's comical comeback.
Soon after the bout began, Vagabundo's mask was removed by Lorcan "shockingly" revealing Samson. Lorcan scored the pinfall victory and for the second straight week, Samson was forcefully removed from ringside by security.
The initial thought after last week's loss was that Samson would shift to either RAW or SmackDown Live, but that doesn't seem to be the case despite his possession of characteristics that could make him successful at that level. There's something intriguing here though. Samson has now successfully garnered major heat and now a major ovation illustrating his ability to tinker with a crowd's emotions in multiple ways. It will be very interesting to see his career path progress as he continues to shine the light on himself in noticeable ways.
Up-and-coming tag teams get a chance to shine
After one third of the phenomenal NXT Tag Team Championship match from Saturday shifted to the main roster, the division is in need of some more depth. With the exception of the champs, the Authors of Pain and former champs, #DIY, no other team has stood out as legitimate players.
Two up and coming tag teams received an opportunity to distinguish themselves this week as the mountainous men known as Heavy Machinery, Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic, took on Gurv and Harv Sihra, the Bollywood Boyz. Both teams have quite a ways to go to reach the towering heights of the aforementioned championship match, but this was a start, specifically for Heavy Machinery.
The mammoth duo were over with the crowd and continued to display unexpected quickness to go along with their obvious power. They scored the pinfall victory over the Bollywood Boyz using a unique splash/slam combination as Knight splashed his own partner's back as he executed a power slam.
Again, Heavy Machinery is nowhere near the level that would put them in the category with the top teams in NXT, but there is potential. The in ring prowess is there. Character development is the next step.
Peyton Royce accompanied by Billie Kay snags a W: Are they ready for the big time?
Speaking of character development, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have created have become perhaps the most wonderfully arrogant characters in NXT. Their deliberately annoying self-confidence differentiates them from the pack from a heel character perspective.
Royce was in action this week against Aaliyah and while Aaliyah has shown flashes of improvement since her documented troubles on WWE Network's Breaking Ground a couple years ago, it wasn't enough to pull out a victory and catapult her advancement within the division. Royce won the bout using her bridging fisherman's suplex finisher.
With main roster call up discussions being one of the primary themes as it pertains to the current NXT regime, both Royce and Kay have taken steps to put them in contention for a trip to the RAW or SmackDown Live rosters. Their NXT accomplishments from in terms of accolades have been minimal, but they have a lot to offer both in the ring and by way of their infectious and entertaining personalities. As a combination, they would be a major asset to either women's division.