A few months ago, NXT paved the way for former WWE Superstars Rhyno and Brian Kendrick to return to the ring. It happened without any notice or fanfare, but it was nice to see the two back in the squared circle.
Though NXT is the perfect breeding ground for WWE’s up-and-coming talent, certain fans enjoy the “blast from the past” now and then. Sometimes, when the two are combined, it creates a perfect balance.
Rhyno has made several appearances on NXT, getting in the ring with some of the biggest, toughest guys over there such as Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe. As witnessed on the first episode of SmackDown Live, Rhyno made an appearance, hitting Heath Slater with the Gore after Shane McMahon called him the “hottest free agent” on the market. It seems as though Rhyno has parlayed his short-lived NXT run into a trip back to the main roster.
As for Kendrick, he’s set to take part in the Cruiserweight Classic after having a match with Finn Balor months ago on NXT and on Tuesday night, news broke that WWE would be bringing back Shelton Benjamin, one of the best athletes WWE has ever seen, as Nick Schwartz of FOX Sports points out.
It’s refreshing to see WWE looking to its past to see if the careers of any Superstars can be rekindled, and with several names being drafted away from NXT, it seems there is room for more veterans to be used in the same way Rhyno was. It’s a win-win for all involved, as their presence alone helps get the younger talent over.
Rhyno has won multiple championships, such as the ECW world title and the WWE United States title. Kendrick once teamed with Paul London and the two held the World Tag Team Championship for 331 days.
In other words, if WWE is going to use former stars in NXT, it has to be stars who were successful. If not, it won’t help the NXT stars build their own careers by getting wins over these Superstars. With all of that in mind, we thought of a few former talents who found success in WWE and didn’t leave the company on the worst of terms, leaving open the possibility of this scenario not only happening, but making plenty of success to go through with.
Granted, this probably wasn’t the first name anyone had in mind, but it would make some sense. Snitsky was one of the most intimidating Superstars in WWE history and though he never found success in the way of winning titles while with the company, how many guys have ever dominated and beaten Kane in their first official match?
In addition, Snitsky reportedly left the company on his own terms in 2008, but what if a lighter travel schedule where he could just work certain dates in NXT would appeal to him? He would make a for a tough opponent for the biggest names in NXT such as Shinsuke Nakamura or even Hideo Itami, who returns soon.
Montel Vontavious Porter
Yes, that Montel Vontavious Porter, better known as MVP. During his tenure in WWE, MVP was one of the company’s more popular Superstars and better in-ring workers. A two-time United States champion, MVP faced off with every big name in the company at the time.
In NXT, he could work as a face or heel and be quite successful in either role. It would be a good way to either tune him up for another run on the main roster, or just continue his career by helping younger talents. Now 42 years old, MVP’s best years are certainly behind him, but he still has something to offer the business.
Though he hasn’t competed in nearly six years, he has stayed active on the independent circuit and even had a recent run in TNA.
This list doesn’t need to be relegated to male Supertars, though there are more of them that would fit the requirements talked about here. Still, a veteran female presence on NXT seems to make a lot of sense in theory.
Victoria hasn’t competed actively in WWE in seven years, but she is highly celebrated for her time during the Attitude Era where she became a two-time Women’s Champion. Known as one of the better female workers in the business, there’s nothing the young ladies currently in NXT wouldn’t be able to gain from her presence.
Now 45 years old, a part-time role on WWE’s developmental brand would make a lot of sense for Victoria, even though she’s stayed relatively active during her absence from the company, including her time as Tara in TNA.
Victoria vs. Bayley; Victoria vs. Asuka. Both of those matches sound like a lot of fun.