Apollo Crews got huge repackaging recently when he made a surprise move to WWE’s NXT brand. Crews was no longer dressed in his Nigerian prince gimmick. Apollo may no longer be on the main roster, but he won’t be taking a pay cut.
The same can be said for Commander Azeez. Azeez did not appear with Apollo Crews during his confrontation with Bron Breakker this week. It is not known how WWE plans to use him, but he has also been moved to NXT.
According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez are still working on main roster contracts. That means they will still be paid the same as they were working on Raw. As long as WWE doesn’t release them, they’ll be making main roster money while in developmental.
“Crews and Azeez have both been moved from Raw to NXT. The good thing is for now they still have their Raw contract. In the long-run, this is probably not a good thing historically. Azeez is huge and an incredible athlete for his size, but his entire gimmick was killed on Raw with the promotion of Omos, because you can’t be a giant when they are heavily pushing another guy who is five or six inches taller.
Crews is talented but the Nigerian gimmick came off so fake, and before the gimmick, they just didn’t see anything in him. Obviously he was a great talent between the ropes but his height worked against him and then once they established his level, even with the gimmick change, it was hard to get people’s perception of him to be as a guy of high level.”
Time will tell if Apollo Crews can finally catch fire in NXT. He has an incredible amount of talent, but he has yet to fully realize his potential in WWE. Either way, he will be making good money for as long as he is in Orlando.
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