WWE senior vice president of talent development creative Shawn Michaels says that there's more synergy between NXT and the main roster now.
Throughout NXT's history, some of the brand's top stars floundered when they moved to the main roster. The performers were often repackaged and/or renamed, so they essentially had to start over on Raw or SmackDown.
Among many other examples, two-time NXT Champion Karrion Kross was the subject of questionable booking when he got called up to Raw. He was presented without Scarlett, a vital part of his act in NXT, and forced to wear a mask that some fans laughed at. Kross was released after this inconsistent run, but since he has returned to the company, he has been featured prominently on SmackDown.
Speaking on The Ringer Wrestling Show, Michaels, NXT's main booker, was asked whether it's more of a straight line from NXT to the main roster now after Triple H became the head of creative. He described how there's more synergy now, and there has been a clear boost to the overall morale.
"Absolutely, yeah. We say that’s where the synergy is. There’s certainly, I would say it’s no secret to anybody that there’s a huge uplift in morale, from top to bottom in the WWE, whether it’s Raw, SmackDown, or NXT, everybody’s very excited for the future. Look, I’ll say this, the one thing that was always really positive in NXT and again, the positive about all these other former athletes that come in, they were already excited and focused and ready to go. Now we’ve just made sure that we’ve topped that off and everybody from top to bottom, roster-wise, is excited about the future. All of us working there are equally as excited because we all know that we’re pulling the rope in the same direction," Michaels said.
The WWE Hall of Famer was also asked about his previous comments that NXT will continue to reach out to talent from the independent scene and Japan. Shinsuke Nakamura's memorable debut was brought up as an example, and Michaels noted that while there has been a "slowdown" of these additions, the company remains focused on acquiring the best talent available.
“Yeah, I certainly think so, by all means. But I guess, I think with the pandemic and everything else, I think it’s, and this is not to imply that there aren’t any other big stars out there, but I think that we’ve had a slowdown in that respect. There have been so many people that have done that and have already stepped up into the big time, so to speak. But I certainly would never take those things off the table. The WWE is gonna want talent, the best talent they can find, for many years to come. So absolutely. I just don’t think you ever say no to somebody who’s unbelievably gifted and somebody who’s talented in this line of work. So we’re just looking for people that want that, that are looking to have their WrestleMania moments, who want to have their opportunity to make a run on what we believe is obviously the biggest and greatest sports entertainment brand on the face of god’s green earth, and that’s the WWE," Michaels said.
In the same interview, Michaels discusses his new role in WWE and described his approach to booking NXT. You can check out his comments here.
Michaels reunited with D-Generation X on this week's episode of WWE Raw. Catch up on our coverage of the show by clicking here.
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