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NXT Superstars Backstage At WWE SmackDown

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Two NXT Superstars were part of the SmackDown show on the 21st of January, competing in a dark match amidst rumours of a main roster call-up.

Former North American Champion Roderick Strong of Diamond Mine was first reported to be at SmackDown by Mike Johnson of PWInsider. Strong has recently been featured on NXT 2.0 television, recently losing his NXT Cruiserweight Title in a unification match to Carmelo Hayes.

Even more recently, Roderick Strong appeared to be the last opponent of the star formerly known as WALTER. It appears the former NXT UK Champion’s victory over Strong was the last using that moniker as WWE has now changed his name to Gunther.

Strong compete in the dark match before SmackDown aired live on FOX, taking on another NXT star in LA Knight. Knight last competed back at WarGames in December as part of Team Black and Gold as the old guard of the developmental brand fell to the new stars of Team 2.0.

Fellow developmental brand stars Tommaso Ciampa and Pete Dunne have also recently competed in dark matches ahead of main roster shows, but there is no word yet on whether any of these stars will be part of the WWE main roster any time soon.