Major NXT Stars at This Week's WWE SmackDown

This week's Friday Night SmackDown reportedly had a few major stars from NXT appear, as both NXT Champion Karrion Kross and NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed competed in dark matches. Non-televised matches have been rare for WWE ever since the pandemic started, but the Wrestling Observer reported the matches were set up in order for high-ranking WWE officials to "see them live and get a first-hand look." PWinsider, which broke the initial news that the pair were at the show, followed up with new information on Saturday.

Mike Johnson confirmed Kross wrestled Dolph Ziggler, while Reed took on Bobby Roode. He added there's a chance Kross and Scarlett will be back next week for some promo work.

"One of the reasons the talents were brought in (and others could be brought in over the next few weeks) is that WWE has a Draft scheduled for September and is looking at different talents they can pull up from NXT to accentuate the main roster as they prepare to shake things up heading into the Fall," Johnson wrote.

Kross recently defended his NXT Championship against Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano in a five-way bout at NXT TakeOver: In Your House. Reed defended his title in a six-man tag match earlier that evening, defeating Legado Del Fantasma alongside MSK.

The current NXT Champion has talked a number of times about eventually making the jump from NXT to WWE's other brands. Many fans assume that will happen sooner rather than later.

"I'm not a very big fan of undermining people's intelligence," Kross said during a press conference prior to TakeOver. "I don't think that's really something anyone in this business should put on themselves. I think the WWE Universe [and] NXT fans should decide who the greatest will be, in due time. But I will tell you this, I don't plan on ever losing this title. That's number one. Number two; I don't plan on staying in NXT forever..."

What do you think of Kross and Reed's chances on the main roster? When do you think the jump happens? Tell us your predictions down in the comments!

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This week's SmackDown served as the go-home show for tonight's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view and saw Roman Reigns retain his WWE Universal Championship against Rey Mysterio inside the steel structure. With Reigns/Mysterio off Sunday's show, WWE decided to make Bianca Belair vs. Bayley a Hell in a Cell match and added both Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn and Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins to the card.