By Jared "JJF" Jackson-Ferrans
With all the independent darlings that have been signed by the WWE and assigned to NXT, it's hard to remember sometimes that yes, it is still a developmental program, and the primary purpose is to bring in raw untrained wrestlers and make them into future stars.
For the most part, it's easy to overlook the Steve Cutlers of the world amongst the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries, but nonetheless, there have been some success stories from the Performance Center's training program, and I feel it's only fair to acknowledge them. Here are my picks for the most improved talents to come out of NXT.
I've been a bit rough on Amore in the past, regularly favoring his tag team partner Colin Cassady over him and criticizing his in ring ability, but the fact is the 5'11, 200 pounder from New Jersey doesn't have to be a great wrestler.
His greatest gift is the gift of gab, and his mic skills put him as one of the best in WWE, whether on the main roster or in NXT, and a lot of that can be attributed to the late Dusty Rhodes, who saw Enzo as a potential standout promo and took him under his wing. He may have a fomulaic routine, but much like the New Day, Amore has managed to stand out and become a bonafide star. And you can't....teach....that.
The "Indy Hunter" had potential when he debuted, but early on, was dismissed as a weaker version of Ryback, but his in ring skills have been refined working with the likes of Finn Bàlor and Samoa Joe, leading to his recent promotion.
The heel run for Corbin has shown that there's more to him than met the eye, and his offense is strong and impactful for a heavyweight. While hardly a technical master in the ring, for a football star turned wrestler, he's one of the better stars the WWE has produced.
Going from an irrelevant enhancement talent to an NXT Champion is never easy, and there's a good reason why Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder managed to pull it off. In an era of heels who have a tendency to get themselves over as faces rather than enhance their opponents, The Revival does everything they can to get under the crowd's skin.
Fans have a tendency to compare them to Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, and Scott Dawson has a big name fan himself in Mick Foley, who mentioned wanting to work with him, and I have to agree with Foley. I could see Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder keeping old school alive for years to come.
While fans typically gravitate to his tag partner Chad Gable, Jason Jordan has shown that he can more than hold his own. He has the fire and intensity that contrasts with the more fluid Gable, and thus far has shown that he has potential to be a great wrestler in his own right. While he's often compared to Shelton Benjamin, I feel that's a bit unfair, as Benjamin may be a great wrestler, but lacked the fire.
I'd liken him more to Kurt Angle or Douglas Williams, a fantastic in ring performer who lights it up in the ring. I expect 2016 to have big things in store for Jason Jordan and American Alpha.
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