YMMV: WWE NXT

  • Arc Fatigue: Season 5 really stalled halfway through, after not having a single elimination in months. They then dropped all pretense of it still being a competition.
  • Awesome Ego: Enzo Amore's is so awesome it turned him and Big Cass face.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Becky Lynch started off as a generic Irish lady, eventually moving her way up to Sasha Banks' lackey. She soon gained more confidence and broke away from Sasha, winning the No. 1 contender shot for the NXT Women's Championship. Lynch lost the title match, but she put in one of the best women's performances in NXT history and looked strong in defeat. The crowd showed their appreciation, chanting her name and singing her theme song, moving Becky to tears and giving her the biggest boost of her career even though she lost.
    • Sami Zayn versus Adrian Neville also had a few heartwarming moments (unless you're a Neville fan). First, there was a moment where Sami Zayn considered using the NXT Championship as a weapon to win the match, and the notoriously smarky crowd were all so invested in Sami Zayn as a character that they chanted, "NO! NO! NO!" showing how much they wanted him to remain true to himself. The loud ovation when Sami Zayn then won has to be heard to be believed. Every fan in Full Sail was absolutely elated. After that, almost every single person on the NXT roster (bar a couple of heels) came out to congratulate Sami Zayn, lifting him up on their shoulders and parading him around. Then, the defeated Adrian Neville stood up, rejecting Sami Zayn's offer of a handshake only to hug him and congratulate him on becoming champion.
  • Deader Than Disco: Whether it's because of the difference between the intimate setting of the NXT arena vs. the big stage of WWE's road events or the difference between the management and booking of the characters after getting called up, some gimmicks that are popular on NXT fail utterly on the main roster.
    • Adam Rose's gimmick was quite over and fans were responding well to it. He was abruptly called up pretty soon afterwards and, partially thanks to falling into Flanderization of the Orlando Jordan kind, it was met with apathy by the main roster crowd. Rose was Demoted to Extra within a month and the bunny in his posse became more over than he was.
    • Emma was one of the top Divas on NXT - rivaling Paige in popularity. However her main roster pairing with Santino caused a lot of fans to lose interest in her and what was once a fun crowd participation gimmick soon became tiresome and unfunny. Then came the shoplifting incident which put her in hot water with WWE, and thus Santino's retirement shortly afterwards did not lead to any meaningful restart.
      • Emma has since returned to NXT in what appears to be an attempt to completely hit the Reset Button on her character. The storyline itself is heavy with Reality Subtext, making explicit reference to the idea that she blames the fans for cheering for her gimmick and making her think she would be successful on the main roster.
    • Paige was the first Diva to get insanely over on NXT - resulting in a quick Heel-Face Turn. After a lacklustre reign as Divas' Champion, her popularity waned with fans - resulting in a Face-Heel Turn into an Ambiguously Gay Yandere. While Paige herself may get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, the Anti Diva thing with her is now an odd quirk at best. Ivelisse has remained over on the indies as a full-tilt Anti Diva, surprisingly over, so it seems the problem is either different tastes in the main roster's fan base or, more cynically, in the main roster's booking team.
  • Designated Hero: Charlotte inspires this reaction whenever she's a face. She tends to come across as very arrogant and full of herself. It doesn't help that in one promo, she yelled at the crowd for chanting (she was meant to be the face). To the degree that at the Fatal 4 Way, she was technically a face but was the only woman in the match to get audibly booed during her entrance. Ironically she did seem relatively popular when she was heel.
    • Whether heel or face her reaction seems to basically be the same; sometimes exclusively cheered, sometimes mostly cheered but with a small spattering of boos. It comes with being a Wild Card like her father (whose arrogance even comes from his) amongst a bunch of Ensemble Darkhorses.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The Ascension are straight up heels in the vein of the Ministry of Darkness, but the NXT crowds love watching Viktor & Konnor destroy anyone placed in front of them.
    • With their exodus to the main roster comes Kevin Owens to take their place. The man capped off day one with a violent Face-Heel Turn against his best friend, ultra-popular Sami Zayn, and despite his talk about doing this for his family has shown that he is a manipulative sociopathic Blood Knight at heart, perhaps the most sadistic wrestler in the history of NXT. Yet people continue to chant "Fight, Owens, Fight!" unless he's committing legalized assault—and when that happens, they chant "Kill, Owens, Kill!".
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The first season had some guy named Daniel Bryan.
    • Kaval, during the second season. He won the competition because WWE fans kept voting for him over the company's preferred picks, and subsequently the competition rules were rewritten to remove any input from the fans on the outcome.
    • When the show dropped the competition aspect and became more storyline based, a few wrestling fans started seeing it as an undiscovered gem that sadly wasn't seen by enough people and, more specifically, they credited a lot of its cult success to the storyline of Maxine, Johnny Curtis, and Derrick Bateman, and expressed genuine frustration and regret when Maxine announced she asked to leave the company. Between this and the aforementioned tendency of NXT debuts to fall flat, now when rumors begin that a NXT superstar is being moved to the main show, the reactions has changed from anticipation to dread.
    • Since the NXT/FCW merge, one person has managed to completely overshadow everyone on the roster in terms of popularity: Bray Wyatt, formerly Husky Harris. He was almost universally considered to be one of the best things on it, before he was called up the main WWE roster & did it again.
    • Sami Zayn and Paige are considered this as well. Especially Paige, who went on to win the Divas Championship from AJ Lee. It was commented at least once that there were more signs for Paige in the crowd than anyone else, male or female.
    • Kassius Ohno also had this before he was released. It hasn't come close to Zayn's through.
    • Enzo Amore's hammy, hyperactive Miles Gloriosus gimmick made him a fan favorite, which is why he eventually made a face turn. It also rubbed off on Colin Cassady.
    • Despite being a heel, vain male model Tyler Breeze got really over with the crowd in no part due to his ridiculous gimmick and just how perfectly he plays it.
    • Baron Corbin got this treatment as of late when he squashed CJ Parker at NXT Takeover 2. It also helps that his finisher looks awesome.
    • "Blue Pants," AKA Leva Bates, has only appeared as a jobber twice. She is one of the most over Divas on the roster. It helps that both times, her opponent was Carmella, and being one of the more well-known "Local Talents" on NXT.
    • While his wrestling work garnered mixed reactions, Corey Graves' work as a commentator has been very well received by fans.
    • Six words: Hideo Itami, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens.
    • Simon Gotch has a huge fan following despite being the less talkative member of the Vaudevillains, mainly because of his extremely funny Twitter account.
    • Despite being released during the early days of retooled NXT, Nick Rogers is very much beloved by smarks, partly because, well, look at him.
    • Perhaps the biggest Ensemble Darkhorse of WWE NXT is the show itself, especially when compared to Raw and Smack Down.
  • Funny Moments: Whenever Emma entered, there would usually be a shot of the commentary team with William Regal or Tensei/Jason Albert doing Emma's dance along with the crowd.
    • They've also been seen dancing to Adam Rose's music, with Jason Albert even trying to persuade his cohorts that they should all dance on the table together.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Every Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady promo seems to have at least one line that gets quoted all over the internet after the episode airs. It's at the point where the crowds at NXT have started doing the schtick along with the two of them, and they've only been around for a few months.
    • Any wrestler who has a really noticeable and repeated yell when performing moves; the crowd will pick up on this and begin chanting it when the wrestler is out. Examples include Michael McGillicutty/Curtis Axel ("SHAH!") and Konnor/The Ascension ("YAH!").
  • Fridge Brilliance: NXT's seasonal reality show-based format shifted to what basically amounted to its own little 'promotion within a promotion'. And yet, because of the way WWE tends to operate, the premise really never changed - the standouts in NXT in one year are usually promoted to the main roster in the next. They also usually receive huge pushes, at least initially.
  • Growing the Beard: The latter half of Season 5 and the subsequent shift to being a show for their developmental talent.
    • NXT R-Evolution is considered by many fans to be the point were NXT went from: "Really F**king Good." to: "Goddamn AMAZING
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kevin Owens. Who successfully manipulated both current champion Sami Zayn and General Manager William Regal into giving him a title shot, then proceeded to beat the living Hell out of Sami Zayn to become NXT Champion within a month of his debut.
  • Memetic Mutation: Since Solomon Crowe debuted as a hacker, blaming any incident in real life where someone (particularly wrestlers) get hacked on him has become a running gag.
  • More Popular Spin-off:
    • The Nexus is much more remembered today that the first season of WWE NXT is. Or any season, for that matter.
    • The developmental brand version of NXT has pretty quickly become very popular with fans, who feel that despite technically being a C-show at most, there are quite a few ways in which it's actually the best show WWE has at the moment in many different ways.
  • My Real Daddy: When Vince McMahon was still involved with dictating the direction of NXT, it was filled with silly competition segments. When Triple H took over, it basically became his own personal project & he essentially turned it into an indie show with a WWE budget to much acclaim.
  • Narm:
    • Michael McGillicutty's "Genesis of McGillicutty" promo.
      • Hell, just the name McGillicutty.
    • Since Becky Lynch's Face-Heel Turn, she has attempted to preserve her rocker chick character. However while it worked as a face gimmick, it looks awkward and unnatural as a heel. It doesn't help since turning heel, she's swapped her old theme, "Anything You Wanna Do", for the not-so-awesome "Celtic Invasion".
    • Finn Bálor's entrance when he's painted is awesome. Finn Bálor's entrance when he's just in his gear is fine. Finn Bálor's entrance when he's wearing a hoodie is ridiculous.
  • Nightmare Fuel / Nausea Fuel: One spot during the Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch match at NXT Unstoppable that also counts as an Awesome Moment for Sasha: During the match, Sasha Banks locks in a modified Armbar and then, to add more pressure, stands on Becky Lynch's arm as it's being wrenched past her shoulder blade! It legitimately looked like Becky's arm was about to be snapped in half or ripped out of it's socket, the move was THAT brutal.
  • Older Than They Think: The Scottish Wrestling Alliance had a show called NXT back in 2007 and it lasted three years.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Bo Dallas was turned heel after a colossal failure of a face run, with Dallas becoming conceited & self-absorbed to the point he was oblivious to the fans' hatred of him & seemed to genuinely think he was beloved by the NXT fans.
    • Before the FCW/NXT merge, telling smarks that you wanted Triple H to succeed Vince McMahon as owner of the company, you would have been laughed out of any forum you voiced your opinion in, on top of calling you a shill. Thanks to the success of NXT, smarks have unanimously been calling for Triple H to become chairman, citing Vince's recent running of the company as out of touch.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Sasha Banks was cheered almost unanimously against Charlotte at the last live special of 2014 - despite Sasha unambiguously being the heel.
  • The Scrappy:
    • David Otunga in Season One. Despite being the worst wrestler in the group, Otunga was kept around until the finale where he came second, with the repeated assertion that Otunga had the "It" factor & deserved his spot because he was married to Jennifer Hudson. The finale saw Otunga receive several Take That, Scrappy! moments, with Wade Barrett delivering a scathing promo on Otunga & the rest of the Rookies asserting that Barrett was the obvious choice to win of the two.
    • Bo Dallas. The reason the IWC hated him so much was because he was pushed to WWE despite being very green in the ring, and eliminated Wade Barrett in the Royal Rumble of 2013. The hatred was so bad that WWE eventually turned his character into a Heel who believes he's a popular Face and pretends to be a nice person. This spared him further X-Pac Heat.
    • Wound up happening again with CJ Parker. A peace-loving hippie gimmick in the 2010s did not go over at all with the crowd and much like the the Bo Dallas example, this eventually led to him turning heel, becoming more of a smug, whiny environmentalist.
    • And after that, Mojo Rawley began to get flack for what the fans saw as a generic face character gimmick.
    • Carmella is starting to become this for those who feel that her "fabulous princess" character and the associated Running Gag involving Enzo Amore being sexist towards her and constantly getting hit for it is nowhere near as funny as intended to be and actually throws a wrench into Enzo and Big Cass's dynamic. Even the NXT crowd at Full Sail is cold to her, showing more appreciation towards her jobber opponent, "Blue Pants" Leva Bates. Although since Carmella has wrestled as a heel on live events (and played the heel in her match against Emma), this is possibly intentional (setting her up for a Face-Heel Turn).
      • That being said, some fans have turned on Enzo for his sexist comments and his constant refusal to acknowledge that Carmella is not interested in him.
      • Fortunately, that gag is being pulled back on with Enzo and Cass making a push for the tag titles and Carmella proudly supporting them.
    • When main roster talents visit the stomping grounds of NXT, you can expect them to get every bit of pop or heat they intend to get. But when said main roster talent is perceived to be undeservedly overpushed or fast-tracked for the sake of being The Chosen One that Vince McMahon desires, such as John Cena or Roman Reigns, their babyface status will be soundly rejected with boos.
    • The number of fans who like Alex Riley is growing smaller with each turn at the commentary desk. It doesn't help that his fellow commentators are Corey Graves and Renee Young. This being said, Riley has a stated desire to be a wrestler again & not an announcer, and as of the February 2015 tapings, seems to be moving back into that role.
    • Devin Taylor gets a fair bit of hate for seemingly having no other reactions than nodding, smiling and staring vacantly.
    • Very, very few fans like Dana Brooke, seeing her as overhyped, overrated and with a really bad gimmick.
    • While Baron Corbin tends to be a bit of base breaker, almost nobody likes his rival Bull Dempsey. This is why Dempsey's push was abandoned immediately after the feud with Corbin.
  • Seasonal Rot: Whilst the first season had a clear end goal in mind, the second was just a complete failure with several of the Rookies clearly not being ready for TV. Season 3 seemingly featured the Divas as a direct response to this, and by the fourth season it was clear that NXT was only continuing to fulfill international contracts for X amount of WWE shows each week. By season 5, it was clear WWE management no longer had any interest in the show.
  • Small Reference Pools: Calling Bryan Danielson and Low Ki "rookies" was almost insulting to the intelligence of anyone who even knew a little about their history. Both had been around as long as John Cena, Randy Orton or Primo Colon (who they saw fit to make a "pro") and had objectively more rounded resumes as pro wrestlers(making them just like say, London And Kendrick or CM Punk), not to mention longer than either MVP or Miz (who were also "pros", the latter in fact being Danielson's "pro" for good measure). The fact Michael Cole claimed their popularity was "only" due the internet actually did push it to intelligence insulting levels even if you knew absolutely nothing about either before NXT, given everyone on Monday Night Raw had a hard on for what was trending on Twitter.
  • Smurfette Breakout:
    • The women on NXT Season 3 fared a little better on the main roster than many of the other contestants (save Daniel Bryan or Wade Barrett — and later on, Skip Sheffield and Husky Harris Ryback and Bray Wyatt). AJ Lee became the biggest star the Divas division had seen in years - she and Kaitlyn both became Divas' Champions, but AJ held the title for much longer and had a number of high-profile angles with male talent throughout 2012 and 2013. Naomi likewise became an Ensemble Darkhorse and made it onto the Total Divas cast. Maxine became an Ensemble Darkhorse on NXT Redemption and was considered one of the best things about the show. Aksana is a marginal case as she did get a regular spot in segments with Teddy Long, then a managerial spot with Cesaro - but never really became a star in the division. Jamie Keyes in contrast requested her release before NXT Season 3 had even ended (though came Back for the Finale).
    • The NXT women's division on the developmental show quickly became incredibly popular. NXT has given each of its Divas time to wrestle, as well as some kind of Character Development. Each women's match on the live specials has been incredibly well received - as the Divas are treated like main event material.
  • So Bad, It's Good: While the whole show was this prior to becoming the Developmental brand, NXT Season 3 in particular. The show was so ridiculously bad on purpose, that it seemed like its target audience were those who read WrestleCrap every week. It was almost as if WWE took everything that was narmy about the WWE Divas, highlighted it, and placed a few other comedy acts on the show to act as foils, such as heel Michael Cole, Goldust, and Vickie Guerrero. By Week 3, the show was so bad that you had Michael Cole banging a gong at ringside following the rookie challenges. The show's entire appeal is the ensuing Narm Charm, as well as Cole's and Josh Mathews' sarcastic remarks on everyone else involved.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Not that rookies in need of more experience competing against a wrestler who wrestled since WCW was still around in drills that having little to nothing to do with wrestling while Michael Cole constantly derides the best wrestler for things that also apply to many of his less talented peers are building blocks of "good" plots, but at least season one and two presented some different matches and few good ones by WWE's five-ten minute TV standards. Season three cut back on the number of "rookies" to six, neglected to find a "really good one", showcased a couple wrestlers hardly trained at all and had Michael Cole put down everyone and everything. It didn't even have as many different matches let alone as many good ones since more guys already on the roster had to be brought on. Keeping the already advertised Isis the Amazon, holding onto developmental champion Savanna and bringing an Angel Orsini/LuFisto/Ayako Hamada type to keep Cole's bile limited to "the internet" while ensuring some of those different matches would be trending on Twitter for positive reasons was really seen as the worse way to go? No one even thought it was a good idea to pretend these women mattered as much as their male predecessors? Mercedes Martinez and Cheerleader Melissa had already been on Heat the way previous "rookies" Daniel Bryan and Kaval had been on Jakked/Metal, it wasn't as if WWE was oblivious to such women existing (especially since a younger peer of theirs in Paige ended up being one of the most talked about wrestlers on NXT later). Also, they kept Cole on commentary but not CM Punk.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Season 1 was by far the most successful set of Rookies, with the immediate end result (The Nexus & Daniel Bryan), meaning that whoever were the next Rookies had their work cut out for them. As evidenced by the end results of Season 2 being a failed attempt to replicate the formation of the Nexus, it did not pan out well.
      • In fact, season 2 actually has the lowest percentage of rookies still on WWE's active roster. Out of the seven, only Husky Harris (later Bray Wyatt of The Wyatt Family), Michael McGillicutty (later Curtis Axel), Alex Riley, and Titus O'Neil are still wrestling with WWE. You know the season could've gone better when out of all the contestants, the season's winner, Low Ki, ends up being released first.
    • The first people to be called from NXT after it became WWE's developmental? The Shield.note 
    • The developmental version often inspires this reaction with regards to the main roster. For example the final live special of 2014 was regarded as one of the best shows of the year. The TLC PPV followed a few days later and was considered a dud by most fans. It has been rumoured that main roster talent are resentful of the time and attention NXT gets.