Shawn Michaels talks about NXT stars appearing in the Royal Rumble.
Ever since the brand's popularity began to grow, WWE has often featured NXT stars in both the men's and women's Royal Rumble match as a way to showcase their talents to a wider audience. In the 2023 women's Royal Rumble match, there were three NXT stars featured, as Roxanne Perez, Zoey Stark, and Indi Hartwell all appeared in the match.
Notably, there were no male stars from NXT featured in the 2023 Men's Royal Rumble match. On the latest NXT media call, Shawn Michaels discussed this with Fightful and talked about how the main roster creative team only needed women for this year's Royal Rumble matches.
"Sometimes it matters a great deal, other times it doesn’t. I think they had a pretty good idea of who it was that they wanted this year. Obviously, they asked us our opinions, we certainly gave them, but for this year, it was a matter of who it was that they wanted, and then a couple of backups for alternates in case something were to happen. They only needed women. It was my understanding that they had plenty of the men. For us, it’s a great opportunity for NXT to have anybody up there. I’ll be honest, it’s always the main roster call as far as what it is. Anything that has to do with our talent going up there, it is more often than not a main roster call. When we’re looking for main roster folks to come down here, that’s me making a request and for the most part it usually being granted, other than there being conflicts in talent schedules."
Michaels elaborated on this later in the call, responding to a question from WrestleZone's Bill Pritchard about how the company chooses which NXT talents to feature in those matches.
"I have no way in how they determine how long people go in. I supposed if I wanted to be a pain in everybody’s backside and ask, I could find out that stuff. The Rumble is done in advance and they always have their idea of how they want it to go. Pure speculation on my part, they feel like, ‘let’s highlight a couple NXT talent. We can give them each a moment.’ I cannot honestly speak to having any information on how that is decided and how they decide to go about it."
There were no NXT stars present in either of the Royal Rumble matches in 2022.
Elsewhere on the media call, Michaels discussed the NXT futures of Ilja Dragunov And Meiko Satomura. To learn more, click here.
Fightful will have live coverage of NXT Vengeance Day beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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