One of the core pieces of the NXT puzzle, as they head over to the USA Network this upcoming week, is the NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler.
The only two time NXT Women’s Champion recently spoke to Muscle and Fitness about transitioning from MMA to professional wrestling. In the interview, she credits Josh Barnett as being the one to spark her interest and help train her, “I trained with Josh Barnett, and with Billy Robinson who is a legendary British professional wrestler. The way that they do pro wrestling, they want you to have [MMA] fights first, in order to graduate into pro wrestling,” she said. "I guess it was just kind of a natural progression. I was fighting for the UFC, and I tore my ACL in my last fight, and with the UFC they sign you for a few years but you don’t know when you’re fighting next. They don’t give you an advanced schedule. They’ll call you and say ‘hey we have a fight for you ’, say, in three months, ‘do you want to take it?’, but then when the fight is over you don’t know when you are fighting next, until they call you again.
"So, knowing I was injured and then sitting on the bench for a little while, Josh asked me how I felt about doing some professional wrestling. I said ‘yeah, if it keeps me active, cool’, and then it has kind of just snowballed from there."
Shayna Baszler also discusses the move for NXT over to the USA Network, "We’ve always been proud of the fact that #WeAreNXT, and we say it, you know? It’s our hashtag. So, I think there’s always been a certain thing where we are NXT and we are going to be the best that we can be, and want to put on these amazing shows, and to show the product," Shayna said "I think the only difference with NXT being on USA isn’t in our mindset, its just that everybody else is going to see it now. We are doing what we’ve always done, it's just that now it is in front of everyone."
Shayna Baszler will be watching to see who becomes her next challenger when a women's Fatal 4-Way takes place between Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai and Bianca Belair on the inaugural episode of NXT on USA.