WWE NXT is Once Again Finding the Spirit that Made It Special


WWE NXT is once again the place to be.

Coming off the heels of an electric Saturday night of wrestling, it feels like WWE NXT is back on the rise. The promotion was once the hottest thing under the WWE banner but has been a bit stale after the most recent call-ups. NXT TakeOver: Chicago was from top to bottom one of the best events the third brand has produced. The wrestlers went above and beyond the captivate the audience from start to finish.

NXT for the longest stretch was can’t miss television. During its first peak, the brand was led by names like Finn Balor, Bayley, Sami Zayn, and Charlotte. The main roster has raided NXT over the course of the last year. With each and every promotion it felt like NXT lost a limb. This is the one big drawback to the brand in its recent inception. It was once a true developmental territory for prospective superstars but has since evolved into a super indie.

In the early years of the transformation of Florida Championship Wrestling to WWE NXT, there was a good mix of independent stars and homegrown talent. Independent stars coming into the company have had the focus recently. It’s understandable both sides of the double-edged sword. By putting more focus on the already made stars, the company is introducing them to the WWE audience and can fast track them to the main roster. The homegrown talent isn’t getting the ring and television time to gain the much-needed experience.

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When NXT was most recently raided the lack of star power was felt. Now WWE did a decent job of bringing in more names to attempt to fill the void left by those promoted but it wasn’t enough. You need more than just a handful of already made stars to carry a promotion. The lack of attention paid to the lesser known names in the development system has been the Achille’s heel. Though NXT is returning slowly to the original balance that it once had.

The independent stars on the roster were the ones that carried the most recent special. NXT’s weekly program is where we see the adjustments made. The star power names are on the episodes but they are working with developmental wrestlers in order to give them experience. That matchmaking style is successfully serving both masters. It gives the fans a chance to see the stars they’ve seen on the indie circuit but also a chance to see new wrestlers they are unfamiliar with.

This past weekend’s NXT TakeOver special was left a feeling that hadn’t been there for a while. There have been specials in the past that when they finished I couldn’t wait for the following episode. Lately, that hasn’t been the case. This current roster in is firing on all cylinders. The up and coming talent are getting more and more exposure, and are getting better by the week. The experienced talent is shining and raising those around them.

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We as fans will always find things to gripe about and things to praise. That is just human nature and even more so as wrestling fans. The future is bright not only with newer wrestlers but those we’ve seen for years all working towards the bigger picture of a great product. Things are starting to swing in the upward movement that we were accustomed to earlier in the life of NXT. It won’t happen overnight but the ride will definitely be worth the wait.