Franky Monet embraces the change WWE NXT 2.0 will bring, advises fans to keep an open mind /

Tuesday’s edition of WWE NXT on USA Network is among the most anticipated ever with no one knowing for sure what to expect from this updated version of the brand, unless of course, you’re Franky Monet.

The bad and brash beauty has been making waves in NXT since arriving earlier this year. She’s remained undefeated in singles competition, picked up new friends along the way, and has been hot on the heels of NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez.

In addition to her own evolution, she’s looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the seemingly-new-and-improved NXT. From everything she’s been told about the rebranding to the revamped Capitol Wrestling Center, she feels fans are going to dig NXT 2.0 just as much as its most recent incarnation.

Ahead of the grand premiere of NXT 2.0 on USA Network, Monet spoke to Daily DDT about encouraging the audience to keep an open mind, how she’s been digging her run so far, the possibility of linking back up with her husband John Morrison on Raw, and more.

Franky Monet dishes on what fans can expect from NXT 2.0

Monet is well aware of the skepticism fans have regarding the new direction of NXT coming off everything that’s been reported lately but ensures that there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

After getting a glimpse of what the updated Capitol Wrestling Center is going to look like and having a general idea of what to expect, she’s confident that this is a positive step forward for the black-and-gold brand and hopes the audience enjoys it as much as she will.

“This is going to be a really cool, new NXT we’re going to see but it’s also going to be very familiar,” she said. “I think everyone jumps to the conclusion that we’re reinventing the wheel or changing everything drastically. That’s not what this is about. It’s just about natural progression and change and look and maybe NXT needed a little facelift and that’s what this is.

“I’m just really excited to be part of it,” she added. “I’m excited to see the reaction because, you know, some people will love it and some people will hate it, just like everything. That’s what social media is. But just know that we’re here trying to put on the best matches. You’re still going to have the same superstars you are familiar with along with a whole bunch of new faces. There’s so many people here that are just trying to be recognized and fighting for that opportunity to be recognized and perform in front of the WWE Universe.”

The former Impact Knockouts Champion went on to praise the rest of the roster in NXT, specifically those who haven’t made it to TV yet and are still scratching and clawing to secure a spot. Their goal is to produce the best NXT they can and work everyday at the Performance Center to become better in every respect.

“I’d just say to keep an open mind, honestly,” Monet said. “This is sports-entertainment, something some of us have been in love with our entire lives. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the change. You’re allowed to have your opinion on absolutely everything, but don’t be too quick to judge things. Enjoy what is happening in front of you without having a negative attitude about it. I’m confident everyone is going to love it and I’m looking forward to Tuesday night.”

Franky Monet discusses her run so far in NXT

On her first night in NXT, Monet immediately set the tone for what was to come by confronting the NXT Women’s champion Raquel Gonzalez. They have yet to meet for the title, but it’s more a matter of when and not if that golden opportunity is coming.

In the meantime, she’s put together an impressive string of singles wins and has recruited Jessi Kamea and Robert Stone to be by her side. All in all, she’s done well and is clearly being groomed for a future title run with the way she’s been booked up to this point.

That excitement over knowing she’s a WWE NXT Superstar hasn’t gone away yet and she remains optimistic regarding where her career is headed.

“I am feeling amazing about [my run so far],” Monet said. “I’m excited every week to come into work and get to work and we’ve been doing that day in and day out. With NXT 2.0, it’s this new evolution and new era coming in and it just makes us all a little bit more excited as well.”

Not only has Monet found her footing as a character on air, but she’s also been enjoying her experience at NXT behind the scenes as well. She hasn’t hesitated to pick the brains of everyone possible, most notably Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and mentioned that she’s had the full support of the coaches and the creative team.

As most are already aware, she previously wrestled as Taya Valkyrie before coming to WWE. Although it took her some time to get used to being called by her new name, she feels that she hasn’t had to change much about her in-ring game and that transformation from Taya to Franky Monet has been organic.

“I feel like I’ve had this natural evolution that was expected and I knew was going to happen anyways coming to this amazing facility that is the PC,” she said. “I’m around sports-entertainment every single day, so of course my creative juices are just flowing daily. John [Morrison] and I are always talking about new ideas or entrance gear or the new sequences or aggression or how I want to be seen. I definitely wanted to be recognized and still associate me with who I was before but also see a nice evolution and change and that is who Franky Monet is.”

Franky Monet on what NXT can learn from Lucha Underground

Prior to signing with WWE in February 2021, Monet was best known for the few years she spent in IMPACT Wrestling, where she became the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion in the company’s history. She also held the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship for more days combined than anyone else ever.

What fans may forget, however, is that her first major exposure in the United States occurred in Lucha Underground, which lasted from 2014 through 2018. She debuted as part of the second season and was immediately paired off with real-life husband John Morrison (then known as Johnny Mundo).

Anyone who watched it can tell you that Lucha Underground was a unique wrestling show as far as the storylines were concerned yet extremely entertaining. NXT shared that same gritty, underground vibe for a long time and Monet sees the similarities between the two, especially as it pertains to the hunger of the talent.

“I feel like on Lucha Underground, we were all trying so hard,” she said. “We were trying to push the envelope, get noticed, try different ideas, and be as creative ideas. We had dragons and people dying and coming back to life and all sorts of stuff going on. I think the natural grittiness and just the effort pushed forward is the same energy here at NXT.”

On the black-and-gold brand, the mindset is no different: everyone is trying to outperform each other, get recognized, and find their footing. That same raw energy from Lucha Underground lives on through NXT.

As Monet mentioned, Lucha Underground had all sorts of storylines and characters that had to be seen to be believed. It was essentially “sports-entertainment” at its wackiest and arguably at its best, which is why she would like to see more of that type of stuff incorporated into the NXT product and wrestling as a whole.

“I think there’s always room for cinematic moments in professional wrestling and sports-entertainment,” she said. “I come from the world of musical theater and acting and dance and stuff, so to me, the added drama and grandeur is super, super fun. I definitely think there’s room for it. We’ve seen it done at WrestleMania and on Raw and SmackDown, especially during the COVID era where we had to find these different ways of being creative and putting out this product that was entertaining week in and week out.”

Franky Monet talks Samoa Joe, reuniting with John Morrison and more

One of the biggest questions heading into Tuesday’s NXT is what will become of the NXT Championship, which was unfortunately vacated by Samoa Joe over the weekend due to injury.

On Monday afternoon, NXT general manager William Regal announced that the Fatal 4-Way involving Pete Dunne, Kyle O’Reilly, Tommaso Ciampa, and LA Knight will determine the new champion. Monet hopes Joe won’t be out of commission long and is interested as everyone else is to see what will happen with the NXT Championship picture.

“Obviously, nobody wants to see anybody get injured,” she said. “That’s the worst thing that can happen to us as sports-entertainers and I hope he can come back as soon as possible. I’m really looking forward to seeing who will be the new champion. This is the unknown, so this is definitely going to be something that I’m excited to see transpire on Tuesday because there are so many possibilities.”

As for Monet herself, she’s been making moves in the women’s division and has forged an alliance with Jessi Kamea and Robert Stone. She didn’t explain the reasoning behind their partnership but did tease that more will be revealed in due time.

“It’s a work in progress, let’s just say that,” she laughed. “I’m just feeling it out, seeing what’s going on. I think it’s important to always know my surroundings as well as possible if we’re making any sort of quick moves or judgment. It will all play out and explain itself very shortly, but I’m enjoying working around them and learning what kind of people they are and excited to see what the future holds for us three as a whole.”

She added that doesn’t know if she’ll be recruiting more people but for fans to keep an eye out just in case. She went on to call Mandy Rose, who recently returned to the brand, “incredibly talented” and that her newfound faction with Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne is an “interesting dynamic,” teasing the possibility of the two stables clashing at some point.

Fans have been looking forward to the day that Monet is paired up with Morrison on WWE TV the same way they were in IMPACT and Lucha Underground. When asked about whether she’ll be coming to his aid any time soon following The Miz’s second betrayal of him, she made it abundantly clear that she’ll be there for him whenever he needs her.

“I’m very disappointed in The Miz,” she said. “I now have to have him edited out of all my wedding photos, which is super annoying. But absolutely. If John needs me, I’m there. I’m his wife, I’m his partner, I’m his tag team partner for life as we like to say, but yeah, if he needs to go back to the drawing board and figure this out, if we have to make an appearance on Dancing with the Stars at this rate, he has a target on his back whenever he comes back.”

Finally, she commented on her beloved dog Prince Presley’s whereabouts and if NXT viewers will be seeing him pop back up on TV in the near future.

“Presley is in demand!” Monet said. “He has so many movie roles that are being presented to him, asking for more and more bacon any time we go to TV. It’s a lot. But no, I would love to see Presley back on TV. He’s doing great and is back at home with his brother Bowie right now. Hopefully, we’ll see him again on Tuesdays on NXT 2.0.”

Next. Carmelo Hayes is the future star that NXT must be built around. dark

Catch Franky Monet as part of NXT 2.0 Tuesday nights on USA Network at 8/7c.