WWE NXT 2.0: Using the Ruthless Aggression strategy

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WWE NXT 2.0 is something that fans are still skeptical about due to the overhaul of change. After the unveiling of NXT 2.0, the skepticism grew. It’s a far cry from what NXT was during the Finn Balor and Bayley era. One thing that is for sure, change is hard for most fans when ushering in a new era for a brand that was so successful.

While watching, the presentation of the program felt familiar in so many ways. It was hard to put a finger on why it was so familiar, but then it became obvious. The reason is because of the presentation and strategy to build stars. The strategy is very similar to what they did during the ruthless aggression era.

WWE NXT 2.0 is using the ruthless aggression star-making strategy.

WWE went through an era where there was a large roster of superstars in 2003-2005. Smackdown was focused on a  unique approach that contrasted with the Monday Night Raw program, which is the same strategy being implemented to NXT.

It was a time with stars like the late Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, Big Show, and Brock Lesnar leading the way on a star-studded roster. The situation became more unique since they took chances on making new stars to add to their established stars.

Some notable stars that were built up were Orlando Jordan, Shelton Benjamin, and Charlie Haas to name a few in the men’s division. There was also no women’s title on Smackdown at the time, but that didn’t stop Nidia from rising and leaving her print on Smackdown.

These individuals found a way to stand out in the midst of uncanny star power from former WCW stars to stars who were already established. They did it by being set up to succeed and given a chance to make something work. This includes memorable angles and unique matches that made them different from everyone else.

Not everyone obtained success though. There were a few who didn’t make it large for various reasons including Nathan Jones, Kenzo Suzuki, and Mordecai to name a few. They all had a set-up with the intention to make them stars, but sometimes things just don’t work out as planned.

With all of that in mind, watching NXT 2.0 has that same feeling that 2003-2005 Smackdown had with making stars. The scenario makes it similar since these are new superstars being given the chance to grow as they work along with superstars who have an established footing in NXT.

There are already some stand-out stars to keep an eye on including Odyssey Jones, Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, and Elektra Lopez. They have stood out among the large crowd early on during this period of great change.

The presentation nostalgia continued Tuesday with a vignette hyping up Tony D’Angelo. The style and boldness of the vignette remind us of a 2004 Smackdown vignette of Carlito where he showed fans who he is as a competitor. Fans will have to wait a little while to see what’s next for D’Angelo.

Overall, NXT.2.0 has been about creating fresh stars on top of the stars already there. The enthusiasm of the superstars will surely equal some positive results for them moving forward. With their unique identity and how different this era is, there are bound to be new moments.

However, just like when Smackdown used the strategy and came across successful stars, they also had some that didn’t work. The same situation could arise in NXT and there’s nothing wrong with that. If a person never tries something out, they will never know how far they can go.

There’s bound to be some trial and error as some superstars find themselves and some may be gone after a short stint. No one knows what will happen months or even a year from now, but NXT will push for success as they add to this new chapter for the brand.

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The skepticism is understandable since NXT meant a lot to so many fans for what they accomplished in the past. There will be more to celebrate in the future as these superstars find their groove. All of us will have to wait and see as NXT 2.0 continues to take form.