Further information has been made that seemingly sheds light on the attitude within WWE to recent main roster call-ups from NXT in a new report.
The future of NXT has been the cause of much discussion lately after recent roster cuts on the black and gold brand saw thirteen members of the roster released from their contracts. Bobby Fish, Bronson Reed, Jake Atlas, Ari Sterling, Kona Reeves, Leon Ruff, Stephon Smith, Tyler Rust, Zechariah Smith, Asher Hale, Giant Zanjeer, Mercedes Martinez, and Desmond Troy were all let go amidst continuing budget cuts in the company.
In addition to those cuts, there has seemingly been a new edict put in place as regards potential recruits for the black and gold brand.
On Saturday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that NXT leaders Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Shawn Michaels had nothing to do with the talent cuts and that these decisions were instead made by Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and Bruce Prichard.
Meltzer also stated that the mentality of NXT is likely to shift in the coming weeks, harking back to the previous mindset of developmental which was to find “younger, bigger guys that could someday main event WrestleMania.” Meltzer provided more insight.
“And it’s back to when they first started developmental, because, I know this from Jim Ross, who was a very key part of this, the original idea of NXT was to be developmental and to get guys with the mentality of, we’re trying to find people who can main event WrestleMania – that’s always what they’d say. And their feeling is that even though Bryan Danielson main evented at WrestleMania and CM Punk never did but could have, what that means is they want more Roman Reigns-looking guys. And the basic feeling is that they lost the war (with AEW) and now it’s time to get it back to, you know, it’s like, this is the aftermath, and this is the new direction, and the new direction is younger guys and bigger guys.”
Now Meltzer has given more information on this in his latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer noted that while WWE likes to impart its own style on recruits in NXT when competitors go up to the main roster they’re having the NXT style beat out of them:
“The idea was that NXT, which was originally set up and funded to be a WWE developmental project, was filled with 5-foot-8 guys who were past 30, and the mentality of McMahon is that those people can’t be main roster stars for the most part, as there are exceptions to every doctrine. The idea is they wanted bigger people, and more characters developed. One person noted the mindset is that when WWE would sign independent talent, they would first have to beat ‘the independent’ out of them when it came to work style, but then when in the main roster, they had to beat ‘the NXT’ out of them.”
Karrion Kross, Toni Storm, Shotzi, and Tegan Nox have all recently made the jump to the main roster. Adam Cole is reportedly the subject of interest from Raw and SmackDown but it is widely believed the former NXT Champion’s WWE contract ends after SummerSlam weekend.