Looking back at what wrestlers were like before they became mainstream names is a guilty pleasure. It’s always fun to see their transformation, not only from a physical standpoint, but also in terms of character work and gimmicks.

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Many of your current favorite WWE stars today came up through some form of developmental system, whether it was in NXT or FCW. Let’s take a look at some forgotten action shots and rare behind-the-scenes look into WWE’s developmental system, whether it was in FCW or in NXT, before it became WWE’s third brand.

WWE Top 10 OMG NXT Alumni photos and video online GIF

10Corey Graves, How You Doin’?

There’s just something so incredibly bizarre about seeing Seth Rollins, in full Shield gear, wrestling Corey Graves. To add to the weirdness, we see a young (and nearly unrecognizable) Enzo Amore looking on from ringside.

For those unaware, Corey was indeed an active competitor on WWE’s yellow brand, winning the NXT Tag Team Championships alongside Adrian Neville AKA PAC. Injuries derailed his in-ring career, but he’s found a nice spot on the commentary desk.

9Rusev Genie

AEW’s newest signing shared some crazy details regarding conversations he had with Vince McMahon during his tenure in WWE. The man currently known as Miro is a tremendous performer who can play many different roles well, from the comedy character to the intimidating heel.

For whatever reason, Vince just didn’t see the potential. Here is Rusev on NXT, before the Bulgarian Brute gimmick, trying out a genie persona Vince had suggested for him. Yes, it even included a lamp.

8The Fashionable Dogs

This rare gem of a picture comes to you from FCW. Nope, Roman Reigns and Tyler Breeze never won any sort of tag team titles together, but Leakee and Mike Dalton sure did!

This unlikely duo was one of the last to hold the FCW Florida Tag Team Championships. It’s fairly normal to have plenty of random pairings in developmental. It’s easier for workers to learn their character and hone their craft while bouncing off of each other.

7Ambrose Unleashed

This is not a look most fans today are accustomed to when it comes to Jon Moxley, formerly known as Dean Ambrose under the WWE banner. While certainly not a small man, Moxley doesn’t have the muscle nor the ripped look that’s usual for WWE stars.

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That’s probably the reason he spent most of his WWE tenure in jeans and a tank top, after he ditched the infamous Shield S.W.A.T. look.

6NXT Alumni

NXT really is groundbreaking in many ways and is responsible for so much of the crop of current performers dominating the wrestling landscape across companies.

In this picture taken in NXT, we have three promotions featured: Juice Robinson in NJPW,  PAC in AEW, and of course the trio in the middle (Xavier Woods, Corey Graves, Tyler Breeze) in WWE. Regardless of allegiances, most wrestlers from different promotions are good buddies.

5Superman Trunks

The Big Dog is back with a vengeance, and it is a most welcome return and character shift. Before he started wrecking everyone and leaving, and further still before he was a Hound of Justice, Roman Reigns was simply known as Leakee.

Doesn’t sound like a future pillar of the company, does he? Not only was “Leakee” rightfully ditched, he also stopped wearing short wrestling trunks. Here’s a rare image of Roman’s earlier look, before he delivers the Superman Punch.

4FCW’s World War 3

It’s always fun to see group shots of wrestlers back during their training days. In a setup that resembles WCW’s World War 3 PPV, a bunch of FCW alumni, spread out in three rings, pose for this gem of a shot.

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There are too many familiar faces to name, but some of the more well-known ones are Jack Swagger, The Bella Twins, Rosa Mendes, Curtis Axel, Tye Dillinger (AEW’s Shawn Spears), Sheamus, Wade Barrett and Dolph Ziggler.

3Un-Bo-Lievable Champion

It’s crazy to think that perennial “B” player Bo Dallas was on top of the world in developmental. He became NXT Champion when he defeated Big E for the strap.

Dallas held the title for a whopping 260 days, but that good faith hasn’t translated to the main roster, at least not yet. Still only 30-years-old, don’t be surprised if the younger Rotunda ends up in a program with his brother, Bray Wyatt, at some point in the future.

2A Few Familiar Faces

Yes, that is indeed current WWE Champion Drew McIntyre looking on with commentator Byron Saxton, as Sheamus and Wade Barrett (also currently a commentator on NXT) grapple and train. You never really know where your career trajectory will lead, especially in the wrestling business.

It’s crazy to see Drew’s transformation, from a lanky, bland, failed project, into a charismatic powerhouse who defeated Brock Lesnar in the main event of a WrestleMania. He’s also one of the best-booked babyface champions in quite a while.

1Zig-Zag Ziggler

Whether he’s perfection, or here to show the world, Dolph Ziggler is a one-of-a-kind wrestler that was partially misused, as he didn’t get his proper time in the spotlight while he was red-hot with the fans.

Ziggler has still enjoyed a tremendously successful career filled with gold, which all started in FCW. Here he is making his entrance, zig-zags and all. It’s a shame the look was also incorporated into his name because as much as fans have gotten used to, it’s still a poor name.

John Cena WWE Top 10 moments real life photos and video online

WWE Top 10 OMG NXT Alumni photos and video online GIF