NXT TakeOver XXV is scheduled for this Saturday night, and now that the go-home episode of NXT has aired, we have a firm grasp of which superstars will be participating in the pay-per-view and which men and women are being left out in the cold.
As always, cards are subject to change and there could be any number of alterations to this lineup with surprise appearances, impromptu matches and so on, so nothing is truly set in stone. However, as far as the event is currently being advertised, the following NXT talent is not being promoted as part of the program.
It’s your call to judge whether these missing stars are being left off the card for justifiable reasons or not, so let’s take a look at the superstars missing from NXT TakeOver XXV.
From the NXT Men’s Division
— Cezar Bononi: For being a future star, Bononi really hasn’t done anything at all in multiple years now, has he? Yeesh. It’s almost like he’s employed to just be someone waiting in the wings and eating up time on house shows, rather than working toward a future.
— Dominik Dijakovic: A torn meniscus will keep Dijakovic on the shelf for quite a while.
— Keith Lee: Every time Keith Lee gets something going for him, he disappears for a while and doesn’t make it to the TakeOver. By now, I’m losing faith, which sucks, as I think he has a lot of potential. Here’s hoping he competes in Toronto, at least.
— Kona Reeves: The Finest is a jobber much on par with CJ Parker. He doesn’t deserve spots on TakeOver events.
— Kushida: Kushida JUST got into NXT and it will take some time to build him up a bit and set up an actual feud for him. True, WWE could have had him make his debut on this show, but I don’t think he’s a big enough name for that to work. Give him time. Skipping this one isn’t the end of the world.
— Raul Mendoza / Riddick Moss: Something is wrong with the Riddick Regimen, as Moss’s comeback was met with a loss to Raul Mendoza. That could be the start of a feud, but it wouldn’t be something that most people would get invested in, and there’s no way it will build to something good enough to be on a TakeOver event.
— Shane Thorne: Since losing Nick Miller, Thorne has been floating around in the oblivion of “what do I do, now?” without a true purpose for the past few months.
— Tino Sabbatelli: Sabbatelli is still inactive from his torn pectoral injury.
— Tommaso Ciampa: Ciampa will be out of action for the forseeable future after undergoing neck surgery back in March.
From the NXT Women’s Division
— Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: These two have taken on a supplemental heel role in NXT, wherein they can have feuds with people to eat up some time that isn’t dedicated to Baszler. Since Baszler is the champion, though, she gets the pay-per-view spot, not them.
— Bianca Belair: After coming up short in her attempts to win the NXT Women’s Championship, Belair had to go to the back of the line and start to work herself back into title contention.
— Candice LeRae: Hold on a minute, as LeRae is almost assuredly going to challenge Baszler for the title at TakeOver: Toronto. Just be patient.
— Dakota Kai: She is still out with her torn ACL injury.
— Deonna Purrazzo: Despite being on the NXT roster for many months now, Purrazzo has been pushed aside entirely. That’s very strange. Are they waiting on Baszler’s title reign to end to push her as a heel, or are they waiting to go through the current crop before making Purrazzo a big deal as a babyface, or is something else going on? I have no idea.
— Jessamyn Duke / Marina Shafir: Technically speaking, Duke and Shafir aren’t scheduled to compete, but we all know they’ll pop up somehow during the NXT Women’s Championship match.
— Kacy Catanzaro: Having recently been promoted to a full-fledged member of the roster, Catanzaro is in a building process and is not in a position to get a title shot quite yet.
— Mia Yim: If it isn’t LeRae who fights Baszler in Toronto, it will be Mia Yim. In the meantime, she and Belair have been in a feud as the secondary storyline for the women’s division in NXT.
— Taynara Conti: Is she even a heel or a babyface? Does WWE know? It doesn’t seem like it. She’s low on the priority list right now and clearly has no spot on the card because of that.
— Xia Li: Li is one of the newer “official’ members of the roster, so it will take some time for her to build up enough steam to challenge someone like Shayna Baszler.
U.S. Performance Center Recruits
There isn’t much to say about these men and women. They’re not regular members of the NXT roster yet, so there’s literally no reason for them to be there on this card with limited spots.
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 PERFORMERS: Adrian Jaoude, Albert Hardie Jr, Babatunde, Boa, Brendan Vink, Brennan Williams, Cal Bloom, Court Moore, Damien Priest, Dan Matha, Daniel Vidot, Denzel Dejournette, DJZ, Elliot Sexton, Eric Bugenhagen, Garza Jr, Jeet Rama, Jermaine Haley, Mansoor, Mars Wang, Mohamed Abdelfattah, Nick Comoroto, Omari Palmer, Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar, Robert Strauss, Rocky, Samuel Shaw, Shane Strickland, Team 3.0, Tomu and Trevor Lee
— FEMALE PERFORMERS: Chelsea Green (injured), Jessie Elaban, Karen Q, Kavita Devi, Lacey Lane, MJ Jenkins, Rachael Evers, Reina Gonzalez, Tegan Nox (injured)
From the NXT UK Division
While the NXT UK brand sometimes crosses over with TakeOver events, it won’t be doing so this time around.
Similar to the Performance Center recruits section, if you’re a completionist and want to know everyone who is in NXT UK who is missing out, here you go:
— MALE PERFORMERS: Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams, Ashton Smith, Dave Mastiff, Eddie Dennis (injured), Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews, Gallus, Grizzled Young Veterans, The Hunt, Ilja Dragunov, Imperium, Jack Starz, Jordan Devlin, Joseph Conners, Kassius Ohno, Ligero, Luke Menzies, Moustache Mountain, Noam Dar, Oliver Carter, Pete Dunne, Sam Gradwell, Saxon Huxley, Travis Banks and Tyson T-Bone
— FEMALE PERFORMERS: Isla Dawn, Jazzy Gabert, Jinny, Kay Lee Ray, Killer Kelly, Nina Samuels, Piper Niven, Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm and Xia Brookside