Posts Tagged ‘NXT’

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Source: The Peter Borough Examiner

Bobby Roode spoke with The Peter Borough Examiner on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

Losing his drive in TNA/Impact:

“To be honest, when I was with TNA, I just didn’t have the drive any more, I didn’t have the passion. It was unfamiliar territory to me, because I’ve always loved the business and I’ve always been passionate about it. It was the first thing that I thought of when I woke up, last thing I thought about when I went to bed. I just didn’t have that any more.”

Seeing friends (like Samoa Joe) flourishing in NXT and the draw to go there:

“It was very intriguing to me. Honestly, I didn’t want to do anything else with my life. I knew that I still had a lot of really good years left in this business. I really wanted to get the opportunity to come to WWE. NXT was presented to me and I was very excited about the opportunity that was given.”

His entrance at NXT TakeOver: Toronto with a choir backing him up:

“It was fun. That was one of my favorite ones actually, the one with the choir. I think it was 80, 84 people in the choir and just coming up from underneath the stage. Being in my hometown, of course, at the Air Canada Centre, that was probably my most memorable entrance by far.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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RAW Women’s Champion was a guest on the latest episode of PodcastOne’s Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. In the interview, Bliss discussed growing up as an athlete, her start in the WWE, the challenge of transitioning from cheerleader to WWE Superstar, her move to the main roster and more.

You can download the full episode from PodcastOne at this link, they sent us these highlights:

Her journey to WWE:

“My trainer, Mike at the time had told me that he had heard that WWE was having tryouts and so I went online on WWE.com and there was actually a link and it was like, ‘Do you want to be a WWE Superstar?’ I was like ‘Yes I do!’ So I clicked on it and it had all these instructions, it was like, ‘Make a video, do this, do that, send in the video.’ I made a video trying to cut a promo, you know just trying be as Diva as I could I guess. I sent it in and didn’t think anything would come of it and I got a call from Canyon saying, ‘Hey, we’re actually having a casting call in LA and we’re going to send you out there for a day and like, see how that goes.’

“Went to the casting call, I walked in and Triple H was in there and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re Triple H!’ Like I totally had that fangirl moment, cause you know watching it and then seeing somebody for the first time and you’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh that’s so cool!’ So I just started talking and talking and talking about like these just terrible wrestling ideas I had. I was like, ‘I want to be like The Great Kabuki, but with the Green Mist I want to blow glitter-I want to spit glitter out!’ Just like all these kinds of things and I’m sure he thought it was a terrible idea.”

“And then I was told I made the thirty day trial after that which was you get in the ring for thirty days and you know, just learn as much as you can and they pick you from there. I got a call on the flight home saying I made it to the thirty day trial. I was super stoked and then I got a call a week later saying that I wasn’t going to the thirty day trial and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ Canyon was like, ‘We’re going to sign you. You’re going to move to Florida if you pass medical. Let’s just hope you’re as athletic as you look.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, no pressure.’ So it was basically WWE just kind of taking a chance on me, you know what I mean? Just giving me a chance and I knew I had to run with it as much as I could.”

The challenge of being accepted as a wrestler:

“I didn’t wrestle before coming here. There’s a respect thing here, you know what I mean? This whole business is based on respect and because I wasn’t wrestling in the indies beforehand, it was very hard to be accepted. It was very very hard because it’s a whole culture here, you know what I mean? You have to learn and it wasn’t the fact that anyone was telling me what to do, it was I had to learn by messing up. And so because I didn’t know these girls, I didn’t know these ways, you know it was very hard to adapt, it was very difficult and I was very lonely for a really long time.

“Coming into NXT, Charlotte took me under her wing immediately and saw you know, how I wasn’t being accepted because of my background, they just saw me as another fitness model coming in and I had never done fitness modeling and it irked me so bad anytime anyone would call me a fitness model, you know what I mean? These girls were so good and they already knew, you know the fundamentals, they knew the psychology, they knew everything that I had just come into this, you know what I mean? And one of the people that helped me a lot through that too was Shaul Guerrero. I became really close with Shaul in NXT and she always had my back for everything and she would help me as much as she could, Charlotte helped me as much as she could and they became my really good friends from that. It was super helpful because you know I had been in a locker room with girls my entire life, but when you go somewhere that you’re not used to, it’s kind of like a little bit of a culture shock.”

Learning how to cut promos:

“My mom helped me a lot. We’d have promo classes in NXT once a week and me and my mom would make it our thing to come up with a promo and it would be fun. So I was always doing these promos in front of my mom and she’d be like, ‘Hmm, that didn’t sound very convincing.’ She would just be like honest, you know what I mean? It was just like in cheer when I would have a routine, she would be like, ‘Stop, start over again, stop, start over again.’ So it’s kind of like the same kind of thing with promos and then we had Dusty (Rhodes) as a promo coach who was amazing. He was brilliant at everything he did. I started getting comfortable in promos when I was partnered with Scott Dawson in NXT. It never debuted on TV, but I was playing his girlfriend in promo classes for like a few months and that’s what really kind of got me comfortable with promos because I was out of the box, I was reenacting, I was reacting off of people, you know?

“When I joined Blake and Murphy, that’s when i was able to really hone in my character as to who Alexa Bliss is because I didn’t have to be in the ring and try to portray a character at the same time and worry about a match and this that and the other. But the fact that I was able to be a valet and to establish a character, work on characters, work on promos, and it helped so much, especially since we were all three really close-me, Blake, and Murphy. I was dating Murphy at the time and it was just like hanging out with friends and being able to do promos and work with people who are just your friends makes it so much easier and I think that’s kind of evolved into what I think about now in promos is like what we said, ‘You don’t just say things, you feel them.’ I’m that psycho person backstage, every promo I still have, even if it’s just two sentences or three pages, I’m backstage, I’m talking to myself, I’m pacing and just saying each thing, dissecting it, being like, ‘Okay now how would I really feel if I just said that?’ And then I say it to myself a couple of times, ‘No that doesn’t sound right.’ And I say it and I’m like, ‘Okay, that’s what clicks. Thats what how I feel.'”

Her friendship with Nia Jax:

“She’s very loud, I’m very quiet. We balance each other out like crazy. We’ll call each other out on crap all the time, we’ll joke around nonstop. I’ve always been friends with people like Nia, I’ve always been. I love Nia, she is amazing. She’s outgoing, she’s funny, we joke around all the time, we quote Bridesmaids like its going out of style, it’s the best! We’re always making each other laugh. Like when one of us is stressed, we always try to bring the other one up, you know? We sing songs on the top of our lungs on car rides. I’m pretty sure we’re the first like real best friends that have ever been on it (Total Divas) so I think that will be very interesting.

“When NXT has tryouts, they have some of the talent to come and help and like work the tryout, tell people where to roll, where to do this, basically boss everyone around. I worked Nia’s tryout and so I remember I was doing cardio while they were having a lunch break and she comes up and she starts talking to me like she knew me forever, like she’s never met a stranger in her life! And I was like, ‘Oh, hello!’ And then we’ve just become really close after that and became best friends shortly after.”

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Source: USA Today

Recent WWE signing Kacy Catanzaro most likely won’t face any speed bumps as she learns the physical side of wrestling. A former competitor on American Ninja Warrior, she has a fearlessness that should suit her well in the ring. But the real question is what will Catanzaro’s character be when she’s ready to make her debut.

Triple H, who’s had a hand in developing countless young superstars, told USA Today he thinks Catanzaro might find success as a cocky heel.

“I like to think of myself as a nice guy, (but) I made 90 percent of my career being the worst guy in the business,” he said. “She might end up being the bad guy that thinks she’s better than everybody else, because she was the hero on American Ninja Warrior.”

He continued: “She has a little twinkle in her eye. She might be the kind of person that embraces the evil side.”

As noted, Catanzaro has a different opinion and said she hopes for her character to spread positivity, the same way she does in real life.

“I’m not gonna be a bad guy,” she said. “I’m definitely gonna be a babyface (and) keep the same (positive) brand that I am in Ninja, which is honestly who I am in general.”

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Source: Orlando Sentinel

Tessa Blanchard spoke with the Orlando Sentinel on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

205 Live Star, Cedric Alexander, being instrumental in helping her with training:

“If I ever needed anything, they would help me. After hours, I would train, train, train, six or seven days a week, until 2 or 3 in the morning sometimes. After a long day, Cedric [Alexander] would say, ‘Hey Tessa, let’s get in there and have a 45-minute match and call it on the fly.’ That’s helped turn me into the athlete I am today. I’m so grateful for all of those hardships.”

Training in Japan:

“It’s very strong style in there. You’ve got to get in there and hang or you’re going to get your ass kicked. It has toughened me up. You have to develop this mental strength to just be there and be all in.”

Advice from former WWE Superstar, Carlito, when she felt like fans weren’t interested in her:

“I was going through this time where I thought, ‘Why don’t people like me? Why is it so tough right now? Why do people think I’m only here because of [my family ties]?’ Carlito looked at me and he was like, ‘Tessa, you don’t need to apologize for who your dad is, you don’t need to apologize for what family you’re in. You were born that way. But you do need to work hard and you do need to back it up.’ That stuck with me and that’s what I’ve been doing the last four years.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: Channel Guide Mag

When Bobby Roode made his debut in NXT, an argument could’ve been made that the veteran superstar had enough experience to jump straight to the main roster. But Roode valued his time at the Performance Center and recently revealed to Channel Guide Magazine that he received personal mentorship from one of the greatest to ever step inside the squared circle.

“I had the opportunity over the last several months to sit down and be mentored by Shawn Michaels himself,” Roode said. “So, it has been a really cool experience. Even though I’ve been in this business for almost two decades, this last year has been really gratifying. I’ve got to learn a lot and continue to learn. That’s one of the best things about being in this business is you never stop learning.”

Roode made his debut on SmackDown Live this week after headlining his fourth straight NXT Takeover this past weekend. He mentioned how much he appreciated how hands-on Triple H and Matt Bloom were with the NXT superstars.

Roode is currently one of the most popular superstars in the WWE. His “Glorious” theme song has been used at sporting events and even weddings. Even though he’s ready to make a huge splash on the main roster, Roode looks back on his time in NXT as one of the greatest runs of his career.

“It is probably the most special thing to happen to me,” he said. “Being able to headline TakeOver events, especially during WrestleMania weekend with [Shinsuke] Nakamura into SummerSlam weekend. It has become a huge time for NXT.”

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Triple H has heaped praise on Asuka, calling the NXT Women’s Champion the “anchor” of the female division in WWE’s developmental arm.

The executive vice president for talent, live events and creative told USA Today that he had insisted Asuka remain on NXT following the return of the brand extension last year.

“I would never want to limit someone’s growth or their opportunities, but when Vince brought it up to me, I said the one person who we can’t afford to lose is Asuka,” he explained.

The 35-year-old, who extended her record-breaking title reign further last night with victory over Ember Moon at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, has long been spoken about as a potentially revolutionary force in mainstream women’s wrestling.

And Triple H, who was said to have helped usher in the company’s ongoing Women’s Revolution, seems to agree.

“When we signed her, it made everybody already inside look at who we were bringing in and they were seeing what I was seeing – this girl is going to change the game,” he said. “She’s changed the main roster too and how the girls work and that intensity level.”

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NXT Women’s Champion Asuka had a big night at TakeOver: Brooklyn III. With her undefeated streak nearing the two-year mark, ‘The Empress Of Tomorrow’ put it and the belt on the line against Ember Moon. She won, taking her reign beyond its 500th day, with critics quick to throw ‘Match Of The Night’ honours their way.

Unfortunately, the victory came at a cost. WWE.com have announced that Asuka broke her right collarbone during Saturday’s match, and while no official timetable has been given, she is expected to miss 6-8 weeks of competition.

Asuka suffered the injury on an awkward landing from a throw by her opponent. She was allowed to continue the match, but did so in notable pain and discomfort. A post-match ultrasound scan suggested a breakage, and this was later confirmed by an X-ray.

NXT’s next TakeOver event is expected to take place in Houston, Texas on November 18th. She should have returned by then, but her presence will be missed in the interim. There’s no indication of how the Women’s Title will be handled in her absence, though we could learn more at this week’s TV tapings.