Posts Tagged ‘NXT’

AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega recently spoke with Sportskeeda and had some interesting comments on the “Wednesday Night War” talk between AEW and WWE NXT.

Omega said if pro wrestling was just one big promotion, the NXT talents would be working the dark matches to his main events. He said there is no comparison between the two companies as AEW has real stars and not just developmental talents.

“You can call it a war if you want, it’s just like… to me it’s like we’re in a completely different kind of business,” Omega said. “What they’re doing is different than what we’re doing and it’s hard to say you’re going to war with people that I call my friends, and yet we are going to war, and yet when I sit back and look at the grand picture, it’s like I’m going to war with dudes that if we were on the same show together, the same show and the same promotion… let’s pretend there were no wars, let’s pretend there were no promotions, let’s pretend there’s just one promotion. If these guys were on the same show as me, they’d be in the dark match. They’d be in the opening match for my main event match.

“You’re going to call that a war? You’re going to call that competition? Go ahead. Maybe it’s fun for you to do, that’s cool, but we’re different planets and you’re going to see that right away when you see 10,000+ arenas sold out, you’re gonna see smiles on fans’ faces, and you’re gonna see real stars, not developmental talent, but real stars appearing on your television sets every week.”

AEW’s “Dynamite” show will premiere on Wednesday, October 2 from 8-10pm ET on TNT. NXT made their Wednesday night live premiere on the USA Network last night.

The recent decision for WWE to schedule NXT on Wednesday nights in a two-hour time slot on the USA Network starting September 18 certainly has got the wrestling world talking. But, it’s without a doubt that NXT has outgrown its original purpose of being a development territory for WWE. 

During a recent interview with TV Insider, Alexa Bliss, herself a former talent performing on the yellow brand, is excited for NXT’s move to the USA Network

“There are over a 100 talents that are there,” she said. “A lot of people we don’t see because NXT is a shorter show. You only see three or four matches per show. If you’re not featured, you’re not going to be on there for a while. I think the show being extended on a bigger stage, it gives the world a view of NXT talent they may have not had before.”

Bliss, one half of the current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions along with Nikki Cross, also spoke about how she is still a fan of NXT – in particular, one talent who has impressed her.

“Bianca [Blair] is athletic and has a ton of charisma,” Bliss said. “I think she is really talented I watched the last TakeOver she was in, and it was incredible. The Forgotten Sons also have a special place in my heart because of Blake, who is one of the most talented people they have in NXT. I really hope NXT going to the USA Network helps showcase that. All three in that group are great. I like to see people who didn’t get more opportunities before get an opportunity.”

Bliss was also asked about when she moved from NXT to the main roster of WWE and how she struggled, but she recalls it was Charlotte Flair who in particular helped ease the transition.

“She was very welcoming,” Bliss said. “She was one of the few that was welcoming. Sarah Amato, who is an incredible coach, has always been crazy helpful. Since my first day she helped me along the way. I’m thankful to stay in contact with her.”

Shawn Spears recently spoke with Muscle & Fitness to talk AEW, WWE, training, his goals for the future, and more. The interview was recorded before Spears’ loss to Cody Rhodes at AEW All Out last Saturday night.

Spears is a regular member of the AEW roster and seems very excited about his future with the company. He made it clear that he believes the company has raised the bar. Spears was asked how excited he is about being a part of AEW, and about the buzz surrounding the promotion. Spears said AEW is changing the game.

“You said exactly what it is, an alternative product. We are beyond excited to bring something new,” he said. “The tide raises all ships, you know? AEW is that tide, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. I’ll say it loud and proud: AEW has raised the bar. Everyone is doing better, because they have come along. They are so excited to showcase their product, and their talent, to the loyal fan base that it has built to this point. We’ve already started, but we hit the ground running on August 31st, (with All Out) and then one month later we go worldwide (with regular television) on a worldwide basis. AEW is changing the game.”

Regarding his time with WWE, the former Tye Dillinger said he was pigeonholed for a long time. Spears said he was unable to break through the glass ceiling, but that has changed as he has taken his career into his own hands. He was asked about now being his time to shine after making other wrestlers look good for so long.

“I take great pride in being able to work with anybody,” Spears said. “Whether it be a brand-new talent, whether it be someone who has been in wrestling for four or five years, or even 15 to 20, I take pride in being able to cover the spectrum when it comes down to match preparation and execution. But that can also pigeonhole you, and I was pigeonholed for quite a long time. On one hand, I was very reliable when they (WWE) needed something done. I was there and I got it done, but at the same time I couldn’t break through the glass ceiling that seemed to be placed over my head. Now, that has changed. 

“I have taken my career into my own hands, been given an opportunity to be on a worldwide platform (in AEW) with no restrictions. Now, this is all on me. Now there’s no more “Oh, well, maybe you are being held back or it’s not him it’s creative.” I want all that out of the way, I want everything to fall on my shoulders now. Regardless of what happens, when I’m seventy years old, I can look back and say that I did this the way I wanted to, on my terms, and I gave it everything I got.”

Spears was also asked about WWE NXT and AEW going head-to-head on Wednesday nights, beginning on October 2. Spears agreed with what a lot of wrestlers and higher-ups have said publicly as of late – he’s not going into this with the idea of head-to-head competition, and that the whole thing will motivate everyone.

“I think no matter who is on, on whatever timeslot, everyone is going to be motivated regardless,” Spears said. “We are gonna do our thing on Wednesday nights, we’re gonna tear it up and if you watch, fantastic, we think you are in for one hell of a treat and if you don’t watch, you are missing one hell of a show, it is really that simple. But that is the beautiful thing about providing an alternative, it benefits the audience. Not just the audience of AEW, or WWE, or Impact, or Ring of Honor, it benefits the everyday casual wrestling fan. You now have another option. 

“I can’t speak for everybody, but we are not looking at it as a head-to-head competition, where we need to knock these guys out of the water, we are going to go out there and do our thing.”

WWE RAW Superstar Ricochet spoke with Sports Illustrated earlier this week while at the Boston Red Sox game for WWE Night. He was asked about the reports on his girlfriend, Kacy Catanzaro, leaving WWE NXT soon due to a back injury.

“She’s still with the company. She’s not retired at all and she’s not injured. It’s a tough sport and we’re all hurting, but there is nothing wrong with her,” Ricochet said.

He was then asked if the former American Ninja Warrior star will ever wrestle again.

“I don’t know,” he said. “She’s very family-oriented and she wants kids, so she doesn’t know if being on the road so much is for her. For me, I’m already too deep—I’m on the road all the time. She loves wrestling and she loves it here, and she’s so good at it, so it’s a very tough decision for her.”

We’ve noted how many wrestlers have recently made comments on how NXT vs. AEW on Wednesday nights will inspire and motivate everyone involved. Ricochet said the same thing when asked if competing against AEW will give him even more inspiration to continue to be one of the most innovative wrestlers in the business.

“That just inspires everyone, including myself, to do better,” he said. “It’s good for the business. I’ve got a lot of friends over there that are making a living off this. That’s good. It’s pushing us to be better, and that’s good, too. We already want to be the best, and now we want to be even better. We have the best wrestlers in NXT and on Raw and SmackDown, so now we can show the world again that we are the best talent in the world.”

Former Impact Knockout Scarlett Bordeaux was at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando today to receive an in-ring tryout, according to Squared Circle Sirens.

There’s no word yet on how the tryout went, of if WWE will be offering her a deal.

Scarlett was released from Impact Wrestling back in June after first appearing under her most recent deal in the summer of 2018. She previously appeared on WWE TV as a Rosebud for Adam Rose in June 2014, and lost a squash to Nia Jax in December 2016.

NXT star Kacy Catanzaro is leaving the WWE. According to Squared Circle Sirens it’s because of a back injury. 

Catanzaro signed with WWE in January of 2018. She made her in-ring debut at an NXT live event on April 19, where she lost to Reina Gonzalez. She then made her official debut on TV during the second Mae Young Classic Tournament. She lost in the second round against Rhea Ripley. 

Kacy Catanzaro was also in this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble match. She lost her last NXT match against Io Shirai.

Catanzaro is currently dating WWE star Ricochet. 

She hasn’t commented about leaving WWE, but in one of her latest tweets, Kacy Catanzaro wrote, “You just gotta do things your own way. Think outside the box. Push away that voice in your head that tells you to conform. Trust that little voice in your mind that tells you that you don’t have to be like everybody else.”

The current WWE NXT World Champion, Adam Cole, recently spoke with Lilian Garcia on her Chasing Glory Podcast. During the discussion, Cole opened up about the 2-out-of-3-falls match that he had against Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Toronto 2 that would ultimately end with both men toppling off a steel cage into two tables.

“I’m definitely, incredibly sore from that one; I don’t know how many of those I have left in me,” Cole explained. “But this trilogy with Johnny Gargano was so important to me and to him because we have known each other for like 10 years so we have talked forever about getting the chance to face each other on a really big stage like NXT, and when I first came to NXT, for that first year and a half, we hadn’t touched at all. And this feud kind of started almost as a replacement for Tommaso Ciampa because Johnny and Tommaso were in the middle of their big feud, so they needed a big main event for WrestleMania weekend, so they said, ‘Okay, let’s do Adam and Johnny.’ Which lead to this crazy trilogy, which had a punctuation mark [at TakeOver] and ended at the wrestling/street fight in a crazy steel cage match, but it was a lot of fun. Painful, but a lot of fun.”

Cole revealed that Michael Hayes and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels are two of the higher-ups responsible for producing the unforgettable trilogy of matches that Cole and Gargano have put on. Furthermore, HBK apparently has had his fingerprints on “every one” of Cole’s NXT matches since arriving in the company.

“The two gentlemen involved in producing our matches were Michael Hayes and Shawn Michaels, which again, Michael Hayes is great and brilliant. Normally he is involved with producing my matches. Shawn Michaels is involved in every one of my matches. At the Performance Center, I go and work with him directly,” Cole said. “A bunch of us do. He is kind of like a mentor for so many of us right now at NXT so he takes a liking and makes sure he has his hand in everything that we are doing. 

“Lots of times, the best thing about Shawn Michaels is that he doesn’t tell us, ‘This is what you should do’, he lets us come up with what we think, and he will be excited about the stuff that we are coming up with,” Adam continued. “But randomly, if we are stumped on something and we think something is cool but aren’t crazy about it, in a matter of five-seconds, he would give us an idea and it’s amazing and so much better. It’s awesome to have those two to pick their brains. They played a big part in what we created in our match for sure.”

Cole considered what his future may look like now that this epic saga of matches reached such a high at TakeOver. With NXT’s premiere on the USA Network looming this September, Cole is excited to be representing the company at such a massive time of growth.

“When I think about my childhood dreams, of course that is something in the back of my mind I would love to have – a WrestleMania moment someday. I always think that, but at the same time, and it’s no knock on RAW or SmackDown, but I am so incredibly proud of what we are doing at NXT,” Cole said. “It’s not that I wouldn’t want to go [to WWE] someday, but I am so into – even the two years I have been in NXT, to see the growth in those two years, I’m like, I want to be part of this thing where the brand keeps getting bigger and bigger. I want to be involved. I want to be a guy that feels like he was part of that process. There’s something so exciting about being part of something’s growth and feeling like you were part of that, so right now, pretty much all I am thinking about right now is how proud and happy I am being in NXT and how I want to do all that I can to make that brand as big as I can.”