A former NXT star, now part of the RAW roster, made a surprise appearance on Friday night at a NXT live event in Jacksonville, Florida.
Tyler Breeze showed up unannounced to wrestle (and defeat) Marcel Barthel. Following his victory, Breeze gave a speech to the live crowd, most notably mentioning his long absence from the brand (Breeze was called up to the WWE's main roster in 2015).
During a funny moment of the speech, Breeze talked about being gone for so long that his merchandise was pulled from all of the tables. Therefore, he'd have to sell shirts out of his trunk later.
He closed by mentioning that all (well, most) of the WWE stars start in NXT before they head to RAW and SmackDown, so he thanked the fans for all their support of NXT.
Breeze has found moderate success on the main roster as part of Breezango with Fandango. The pair's Fashion Files segments were highly acclaimed and entertaining for several month's prior to waning in recent months.
Despite the fleeting success of Fashion Files, the ceiling has always been a whole lot higher for a talent such as Breeze. During the first wave of NXT when the brand started receiving more exposure as part of the WWE Network launch, Breeze was a focal point and always one of the more popular and over stars with the crowd.
All of that being said, he has also been the perfect example of a gimmick that was popular in NXT not translating to the big stage. Breeze is far from the only example here, as that has been the norm rather than the exception when it comes to NXT call-ups.
Breeze is such a talent that a well-orchestrated makeover could still open the door to a more fruitful run on WWE's main roster. If that doesn't happen, Friday night is evidene that a return to NXT would be welcomed by the fans.