Shawn Michaels says he's thrilled to be the new face of NXT, though the role is somewhat challenging for him. He also describes his booking philosophy.
Michaels has been running NXT since Triple H stepped back from his duties due to health issues in September 2021. He was promoted to WWE's senior vice president of talent development creative shortly after Triple H was named the company's head of creative on July 25.
Speaking on The Ringer Wrestling Show, Michaels discussed his new role and noted that he wants to help NXT get the recognition it deserves. He stated that he's usually more comfortable behind the scenes, but it's his responsibility to represent NXT and promote it.
“Usually Hunter’s the one that’s out there in front of the cameras and doing all the talking for NXT. But obviously as you know, his responsibilities have grown, and it also means that clearly mine have grown. The image of NXT still needs to be represented, that falls on me. Clearly I’m thrilled to be able to do that and be out there supporting NXT and trying to get it the recognition that it deserves. But it is a new role for me. I usually am more comfortable behind the scenes and doing my job. But look, this is an exciting new time. I love the men and women in NXT. I love helping them out, love producing the television show. We’re excited about Halloween Havoc. I’m thrilled to have this kind of responsibility," Michaels said.
He noted that promoting NXT is the hardest part of the job for him, and it's intimidating to follow in Triple H's footsteps, but he's thankful for the strong team his predecessor built prior to the transition.
"Look, I think is the hardest aspect of the job for me, to be perfectly honest, is getting out there and promoting NXT and making sure that we keep this brand alive and well. It’s intimidating to have to follow in the footsteps of everything Hunter created here, but in certainly up for the challenge, and I’m very thankful that he put together a great team to help me out in the process," Michaels said.
The WWE Hall of Famer was also asked to describe his booking philosophy, and he responded by stating that he focuses on the developmental aspect of working with young talent. He stated that it's his job, and NXT's purpose, to help these performers grow, so he tries to give them learning experiences. Michaels named a few examples of the way he aims to put talent in situations they might face on the main roster.
"From my standpoint, I look at, we have to combine putting on obviously a two-hour entertaining wrestling show every week, but at the forefront of all of that, to me, I usually try to focus on the development aspect. It is my job and our job collectively at NXT to bring these young men and women growth and experience and help them to encounter things that they may encounter on the main roster. So honestly that’s what I put at the forefront is repetition in those types of things, from s television standpoint, whether it be storylines, promos, just television time, certain spots. I don’t mean spots in a match. I mean spots on the card, so to speak. Opening the show, the middle of the show, a personal storyline, a championship storyline, being on top and understanding the pressures and the dedication and the lack of time off that one may to go through. So there are a number of different aspects that we try to bring to this. But for me, I always try to put development at the forefront. Look, sometimes that makes it challenging to put on the absolute best wrestling show that you can," Michaels said.
In recent weeks, NXT has started a new era in which the brand has evolved beyond the 2.0 revamp. The show introduced a new logo, among other changes.
In a recent interview, Michaels stated that WWE will continue to reach out to talent on the independent scene and wrestlers in Japan. Check out his comments here.
Michaels is set to reunite with his D-Generation X stablemates on the October 10 episode of WWE Raw. More information is available here.
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