Superstars Missing from NXT TakeOver: Portland 2020 Card


— Roderick Strong / Velveteen Dream: I’m very surprised these two aren’t involved in something related to the North American Championship or elsewhere. However, Dream’s return happened so close to TakeOver that WWE might not have even known he would be ready to go and didn’t want to risk anything. That doesn’t explain Strong, though, who could have easily been in a Triple Threat with Lee and Dijakovic.

— Shane Thorne: It’s been a while since we’ve seen Thorne. I wonder why WWE hasn’t tried to use him on NXT UK or something in the meantime. If it were me, I’d have given him a tag team partner by now, most likely.

— Team ABSolute (Mike Kanellis & Tony Nese): This duo is being tested out on live events. It seems they could pop up on television any time soon, but until that happens, we should just keep them as sideliners in our minds.

— The Singh Brothers (Samir Singh & Sunil Singh): The Bollywood Boyz do get lots of screen time on 205 Live, but that isn’t the same as appearing regularly on NXT. It doesn’t translate the same, nor is there any room for them on this card.

— Tino Sabbatelli: Sabbatelli is still inactive from his torn pectoral injury.

From the NXT Women’s Division

— Aliyah & Vanessa Borne: Aliyah has been MIA since her nose surgery and Borne isn’t a top priority.

— Candice LeRae: Like many others on this list, LeRae’s spot as a babyface took her out of the running to be a viable candidate to face Rhea Ripley, who needed a heel to go up against.

— Chelsea Green: Green is just getting started, for the most part. She’s had her experience elsewhere, but she’s fresh for NXT and it will take some time for her to get up to the level of challenging Ripley.

— Deonna Purrazzo: Purrazzo is in the same boat as Green but with even less of a spotlight on her, right now, so she’s even further behind in this race. She’ll get there, though.

— Io Shirai: I maintain my prediction that Shirai didn’t get the match against Ripley because Belair is going up to Raw after WrestleMania, so WWE wanted to do that match first to get it out of the way. I think Shirai may face Ripley at Tampa or be the next challenger post-Mania.

— Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir: Without Shayna Baszler, there’s no need to have these two do anything.

— Kacy Catanzaro: Not only is Kacy a babyface, she’s also been gone for a while.

— Kayden Carter: Carter has only won once so far, if my memory serves correct. That’s not a record that asserts someone’s position on an event.

— Mercedes Martinez: Martinez just officially stepped into WWE a few weeks ago. At some point this year, she’ll be fighting for the championship, but not everyone can do that at all times.

— Mia Yim: Like LeRae, Yim is a babyface. There was no way she was going to face Ripley while they try to build her up for Charlotte Flair.

— Santana Garrett: Santana is in the new limbo spot of not being as regularly cycled into the mix as some others and can’t get a win yet.

— Shotzi Blackheart: While I’m very thankful WWE is giving Shotzi some focus and clearly building her up to be a big player for this division right out of the gate, I also agree with their decision not to shoehorn her into this show. There wasn’t a spot for her and it could have backfired if she was to challenge Ripley or something this fast.

— Taynara Conti: Supposedly, Taynara walked out of NXT due to a financial dispute. Who knows if that story is true or what details go along with it.

— Xia Li: Xia Li is one of those superstars to watch out for in 2020. The year is still young and I think she could have a big upgrade at some point in the next few months. Now is not the time, though.

Extra U.S. Performance Center Recruits & Live Event Crew

There isn’t much to say about these men and women. They’re not quite full members of the NXT roster yet in the sense that they are used on a semi-regular basis on television, so there’s literally no reason for them to be there on this card with limited spots. They still may show up from time to time on TV, but it is rare enough that their exception from this event isn’t remotely surprising.

However, if you’re a completionist and you wish to know who these people are, here is the list of current members of the Performance Center and NXT live event crew:

— Male Talent: Alexsandar Jaksic, Babatunde, Big Jordan Omogbehin, Brendan Vink, Cal Bloom, Daniel Vidot, Denzel Dejournette, Edgar López, EJ Nduka, Ever-Rise (Chase Parker and Matt Martel), Faisal Kurdi, Gurvinder Singh, Hussain Aldagal, Jeet Rama, Jorge Bolly, Laxmi Kant Rajpoot, Malcolm Bivens, Marcos Gomes, Mohamed Fahim, Nick Ogarelli, Omari Palmer, Rik Bugez, Rinku Singh, Rocky, Saurav Gurjar, Sukhwinder Grewal, Tehuti Miles

— Female Talent: Briana Brandy, Catalina Garcia, Emily Andzulis, Indi Hartwell, Jessi Kamea, Karen Q (injured), Kavita Devi, MJ Jenkins, Rachel Ellering (injured), Reina González, Rita Reis, Scarlett Bordeaux


Unlike Worlds Collide, this event is not as focused on the NXT UK side of things. Outside of Jordan Devlin being the biggest crossover participant, as he’s the cruiserweight champion, all other men and women are well within what I’d call reasonable for not being on this card.

Once again, for the sake of being complete, though, here are the men and women from NXT UK not advertised for this event:

— Male Talent: A-Kid, Amir Jordan, Ashton Smith, Dave Mastiff, Eddie Dennis, Gallus (Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey and Wolfgang), Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson), The Hunt (Primate and Wild Boar), Ilja Dragunov, Imperium (Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and WALTER), Jack Starz, Jordan Devlin, Joseph Conners, Kassius Ohno, Kenny Williams, Levi Muir, Ligero, Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate), Noam Dar, Oliver Carter, Pretty Deadly (Lewis Howley and Sam Stoker), Ridge Holland, Sam Gradwell, Saxon Huxley, South Wales Subculture (Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews), Travis Bans and Tyson T-Bone

— Female Talent: Aoife Valkyrie, Candy Floss, Dani Luna, Isla Dawn, Jinny, Kay Lee Ray, Killer Kelly, Nina Samuels, Piper Niven, Toni Storm and Xia Brookside

Do you think these men and women or any others not on this list should have been booked on the card in some fashion? How would you have utilized them if given the opportunity? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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