The NXT Scouting Report, 12/18: Kevin Owens Likes to Hurt People

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While NXT is often the second (and sometimes THE) best show WWE produces, its primary goal is to make future superstars for the main roster. Each week we’ll scout each performer, and try to assess how close they are to deserving a main roster spot, with 100% meaning “ready” (from a talent and character perspective.) Due to the fluidity of movement between shows — e.g., Tyson Kidd is on every show – anything more than 100% reflects where their position should be throughout the company.

And while the numbers are somewhat arbitrary, they should be able to give an idea of the relative main roster readiness between someone like Adrian Neville (98%) who is almost ready and should come in to The Show with a great chance to succeed, and The Vaudevillains (78%) who aren’t there yet, and need additional seasoning to figure out their best chance to succeed in WWE.

Adrian Neville Promo

It’s an interesting choice to turn Adrian Neville back to a full-blown face. One of the benefits of NXT is the ability to let performers try out things without fear of losing the majority of WWE fans. Neville could’ve worked as heel for a while and seen how it fit. Very few stars ever work on the side of the angels their entire career, and with such crowd pleasing moves he’ll need to work twice as hard to get booed. With the amount of attention and unconditional love NXT has earned, I fear those types of risky moves will disappear as the pressure mounts to make sure the show is great over their ultimate goal: growth of talent. Those aren’t mutually exclusive concepts, but it’s clear they’re playing it safe with Neville. As I’ll discuss a bit later, his match with Owens did a lot of great work to get the former Steen his heel heat, but I wish they’d give Neville a chance to diversify his wrestling persona portfolio a bit more.

Adrian Neville – 90% (Rating after opening promo only)