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  #1  
Old 07-17-2016, 05:58 PM
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Default Greatest Wrestler in NXT History

So the Nakamura/Balor thread got me thinking about NXT and all the incredible moments we've had since the first Takeover two and a half years ago, and that train of thought ultimately led me to the question I pose in this thread. Simply put, in your opinion who has proven to be the greatest wrestler (meaning in-ring talent) in NXT history up to this point? I'm sure the answer for most may differ a year or so down the line, after guys like Nakamura, Samoa Joe, and Kota Ibushi really start to get their feet wet but there are still a plethora of names to choose from.

While I was tempted to go with Bayley or Sasha Banks, the name that stands out above all others to me is Sami Zayn. Zayn has been putting on classic matches since his arrival in NXT 3 years ago and has arguably been part of 3 of the greatest matches in NXT history; first against Cesaro in a 2 out of 3 Falls match, second against Neville the night he won the NXT championship, and most recently against Shinsuke Nakamura at Takeover Dallas. It would be difficult for anybody to find a Sami Zayn match that was not good bordering on great since his debut in NXT.

That being said, I was very close to going with Sasha Banks who has also had some classics against Charlotte, Becky, and Bayley, but the pure quality of nearly every Zayn match, and his ability to step up in big game situations puts him inches above Sasha in my book.

So what do ya think? Humor me with your welcomed opinions.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:17 PM
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It has to be Sami Zayn. His feuds with Neville, Owens, and Nakamura produced fantastic matches. He was someone you loved to support, someone who you looked forward to in an in-ring capacity 100% of the time, and made his matches seem all that much more important with his promos. His NXT Championship win (including what Owens did afterwards!) is still the top moment for me in NXT Takeover event history. His match with Nakamura in Dallas was the best NXT match ever. Sami Zayn set the standard for every single top face of NXT to follow. All of this, while being genuinely extremely gifted in the ring.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2016, 06:42 PM
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Definitely Sami Zayn.

Obviously, he's had outstanding matches with the likes of Swagger, Cesaro, Kidd, Breeze, Owens, Neville, and of course, Nakamura.

However, he has something that very few people on the roster have, and that's a genuine likability. It's just so easy to get behind the guy, his mannerisms and gestures in the ring provide for some good storytelling in his matches and you just want to cheer him on. His title win at TakeOver R-Evolution was awesome, you couldn't help but feel so happy for the guy.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:47 PM
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Kevin Owens, hands down.

For me, he's probably the best in the company right now and everything he does is pure gold. I've probably grown more fond of him and his character since he came to the main roster, admittedly, but given the fairly open ended criteria, it's definitely him for me.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:03 PM
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Daaamnnn and here I was thinking Sami Zayn was a sleeper pick. Until Takeover Brooklyn happens this year, he is the only wrestler in the world who can really say they have made an impact on every major NXT Takeover show. His NXT legacy reaches far beyond his title reign and any one feud that he had with many of the people everyone mentioned. It's his total package, paired with his passion, I felt like he was the heart and soul of NXT and represented every aspect of the show that made it so popular.

Runner up? Sasha or Bayley. Finn has had some good matches, Joe is in the midst of a great run, Neville was extremely exciting, but these two girls put on the best WWE match of 2015 and followed it up with an iconic first-ever Ironwoman match. Charlotte is definitely up there with them but I think Bayley and Sasha stand out due to their uniqueness and the genuine appreciation the fans have for their body of work. If any female wrestler has proven to be the "Heart and Soul of NXT" it absolutely has to be Bayley.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:03 PM
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This is difficult, there are several categories to cover. As the franchise guy....Balor. As the most representative guy for NXT, Sami Zayn. As the best wrestler, Nakamura.

Problem is, there is and was some many amazing talent on NXT that (thanks god) its very hard to pick one guy.

Owens, Neville, Sasha, Becky, Bayle, Charlotte, had their amazing moments too. So is doing Joe now.

Whats cool, its that your question bring us the notion of how amazing this show has been and the quality of the roster.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dalenichol View Post
Kevin Owens, hands down.

For me, he's probably the best in the company right now and everything he does is pure gold. I've probably grown more fond of him and his character since he came to the main roster, admittedly, but given the fairly open ended criteria, it's definitely him for me.
I think owens trascend NXT, i agree with you, he is the best in WWE right now. He is the one with the shortest run on NXT because of how good he is, and i think nakamura will go the same path.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:46 PM
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I think Owens has the best future in the mainstream WWE, while Zayn is always coming up 2nd best or IC/US title contention.

If we're talking JUST NXT, I'd go with Sami, but if we're including their futures and main roster appeal, It's KO

I can't go with Sasha, because she got called up and was left floundering, and hasnt made any impact beyond getting a Snoop Dogg perormance at WM.
I Think Bayley's fanbase is pretty insane, but think she's developmentally missing a couple pieces to the puzzle.
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:51 AM
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That's always a difficult question to answer, because everyone has different criteria as to what makes a great wrestler.

In terms of what he did for the brand, Finn Balor has been untouchable. The guy has worked his ass off for the last two years for NXT, brought in tons of new fans, and represented NXT as champion like no one before him. So from a business standpoint, Balor is probably the MVP.

In terms of character arc, I don't think anyone's development has been as incredible as Bayley's. She went from the cringey superfan, to a genuine contender who was flawed but had potential, to the woman who sat at the top of the women's division. It's rare to watch a wrestler grow like that, feeling like we're alongside them the whole time. And it's not just Bayley the character, it's Bayley the person. Many of us have heard about the essay Bayley wrote as a kid, talking about how she'd be a women's champion... It's just incredible stuff.

Match-wise... I dunno, Sami, I guess? He's pretty good.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:23 AM
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Really people? Have we forgotten that NXT was around before Arrival? Have we forgotten that plenty of men came through NXT and were able to grace us with their presence? People like Richie Steamboat, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Curtis Axel, Curt Hawkins, and Kassius Ohno just to name a few. Speaking of which, and since this is a thread talking about who was the best wrestler, how can we even have this conversation without thinking of Kassius Ohno, the original KO?

Ohno was a guy that in all honesty should've been WWE Champion by now. The fact that he hasn't even gotten called back to the WWE bothers me, because he really was super great in the ring. He could work with anybody on the NXT roster and turn out something great... and let's be honest people, NXT wasn't packed with top to bottom talent when it first started so to have that ability was a feat like no other. I'm just sorry that politics got in the way and Ohno was released.
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