There are some big names from WWE’s NXT brand that are expected to be on Raw or Smackdown soon, including former NXT UK Champion Gunther and former NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez.
It has been reported by Fightful Select that two members of Imperium are likely going to be called up to the main roster soon. The names mentioned in the report are Gunther and Marcel Barthel, who is a former NXT Tag Team Champion. However, Barthel’s tag team partner Fabian Aichner is not expected to be part of the move. The report notes that they Gunther and Barthel are likely headed to Smackdown in a move that could become official this weekend.
This past Tuesday on NXT, Gunther interrupted a promo by NXT Champion Bron Breakker, which would lead to the two men facing off in a first-time-ever matchup in the main event. Breakker won that competitive match. At the time, it confused fans about why WWE would do it without any build, but obviously, the news of Gunther potentially going to Smackdown is a reason why WWE likely did it.
Marcel Barthel was an NXT Tag Team Champion going into Stand & Deliver last Saturday, but he and Aichner lost their titles to MSK in a triple threat match that also included The Creed Brothers. During Imperium’s match on NXT, a frustrated Aichner walked out on his partner Barthel during a match due to frustration about not being tagged in. Barthel would end up being pinned in a loss to The Creed Brothers.
In the past, there were questions about why Gunther (who used to be known as WALTER) was not on the American WWE TV shows more often. It’s because he lived in Europe, he was married and reluctant to move to the US. That marriage ended for him and he moved to the US earlier this year. After his move to the US, it was expected that the talented Austrian would be on Raw or Smackdown in the near future.
There was another report from Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp noting that Raquel Gonzalez is likely headed for Raw or Smackdown soon. Gonzalez is a former NXT Women’s Champion that has done it all in NXT since she’s also a two-time NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion. Gonzalez and Dakota Kai dropped the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles back to Toxic Attraction’s Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne just three days after winning the titles at Stand & Deliver.
The other name mentioned by Fightful is LA Knight, who is well regarded as a great talker. The report notes that one of the pitches for Knight is to make him a manager due to his great work on promos, but he is also very capable in the ring as well.
Another NXT name that has been mentioned in the past for the main roster is Tommaso Ciampa, who likely had his NXT farewell match at Stand & Deliver. He has been rumored as a possible member of Edge’s new group on Raw that includes Damian Priest. That could be something that develops soon.
As always, things change in WWE often including plans, so nothing is set in stone until you see these superstars on their new shows.