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WWE NXT Big Board: Updated Prospect Rankings and Analysis for June 12

Published by Bleacher Report on Fri, 12 Jun 2015

It took just one outing and one battered opponentfor Samoa Joe to find his way near the top of theWWE NXT big board.This wasn't his first appearance at Full Sail University, but Wednesday's NXT marked his first in-ring action with the developmental brand. And now the discussion of where he belongs amid a group of talented wrestlers begins.It's hard to describe Joe as a prospect. He had been a top star for TNA for years and was the centerpiece of Ring of Honor's early years. Putting him in the same group as a guy who is still learning the craft, like Baron Corbin, feels odd.In addition, it's also unclear what WWE's plans are for The Samoan Submission Machine. Is he going to just make a pit stop here and then quickly jump onto the main roster' Or is he going to provide a veteran presence on NXT and not leave for Raw and SmackDown at all'Keeping all that in mind, it's still certain that Joe belongs on NXT's top tier.His arrival pushes other prospects down the list.Mojo Rawley and Bull Dempsey, meanwhile, fell for another reason: They came off as jokes on Wednesday's show.Each of those men has traveled in the wrong direction, looking like less convincing prospects.The following is a look at where they, Joe and others stack up in terms of having the brightest futures with WWE.Ring work, mic skills, gimmick, charisma and look all help determine the rankings.Note: Owens is still listed as anNXTprospect here despite recent appearances on the main roster. He is expected to officially make the jump soon but is stilllistedas anNXTwrestler onWWE.com.Male WrestlersProspects just outside the top 20: Mojo Rawley, Chad Gable and Marcus Louis.Bull with a Clown NoseIt's not a great sign of WWE's confidence in Dempsey that it had him shed his bruiser persona to be a snack-happy, out-of-shape comedy wrestler instead.He's shown plenty of potential as a bruiser, a monster and a man looking to bring smashmouth offense back to the squared circle. Up against Tyler Breeze on Wednesday, his character took a new direction.As he chased Breeze around the ring, he began to get winded. He winced from cramps and struggled for air. This was all worked.Backstage, he gobbled on potato chips as William Regal looked at him in disgust.With this gimmick, he's not making it out of NXT. It is an anchor tied to his ankle. It doesn't suit him at all and doesn't take advantage of his skills in the least.Until he goes back to being a snarling beast in the ring again, we can't consider him a top prospect.Mojo Rawley DevolvingAfter a long absence, the hyped one charged back into action. Fans wondered how much his gimmick would change and what progress he would make during his recovery time.Rather than address his weaknesses, though, he has apparently only amplified them.Teaming with Zack Ryder against Elias Samson and Mike Rallis, Rawley was twice as goofy as normal. He shimmied in the ring and hammed it up to the crowd, making his already silly gimmick worse. Rawley looked too much like a cheap Scotty Too Hotty knockoff.His move set was an issue in the past as well. It wasn't varied enough, and he had too many ridiculous moves that didn't look painful. His Wednesday bout didn't show any progress in either area.Instead, he added a dopey-looking spinning slap.His trainers need to tell him that just turning up the volume on everything isn't working. As good of an athlete as he is, he has no chance of making a significant connection with the crowd without some major improvements across the board.Samoa Joe Makes the First Mark of ManyScott Dawson took the first punches Joe threw in NXT. He was the meat thrown out to feed the caged lion.In that victory, Joe showed off why WWE signed him. As he stalked Dawson in the ring, Joe's intensity popped on screen. His presence was off the charts, and his glares were fearsome.Joe has always been a convincing badass. Like with Kevin Owens before him, NXT officials didn't look to take away who he was pre-WWE. That spelled a smooth transition with Joe bringing his best in his debut.This was no classic match by any stretch but instead a glimpse of what Joe can do. He makes big fights feel bigger. He makes the audience take notice.Fans now wait to see whether WWE wants to use those skills to bolster NXT or to add a star in his late 30s to the main roster.Female WrestlersJessie McKay Joins the PartyThe NXT women's division continues to get deeper. This time an Australian indy wrestler added her name to the growing group.Her match against Becky Lynch was far from her best work, however. She's looked much better in action for Shimmer.McKay didn't allow Lynch's moves to affect her enough. She popped up from the mat too soon. She brushed off arm drags too quickly.Overall, her ring work was awkward. The timing felt off. She seemed uncomfortable in the ring.This is surprising given her background. Perhaps it was just an off night or a case of nerves getting to her. Either way, she will have to work hard to make a better impression the next time around.Climbing up the ranks in this loaded division will be tough going, but she's shown glimpses during the pre-WWE portions of her career of being someone to look out for.
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