WWE NXT 2.0 One Year Anniversary: The good, the bad, and the ugly


This week’s episode of NXT 2.0 marks the one-year anniversary of the change in the brand. It went from the Black & Yellow moniker that Triple H created, to a perception of what those from generation’s past believed “young” viewers wanted to see in today’s wrestling. Thankfully, with Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis out and Triple H, things have merged into an amalgamation of both philosophies. Along the way, there’s been a lot to complain about with NXT 2.0, but there’s also been some good in this product. To celebrate the one-year anniversary, let’s take a moment to look at the good, bad, and ugly of the NXT 2.0 rebrand.

The Good

NXT 2.0 has allowed for some performers to excel in a way that fits perfectly into WWE’s view of professional wrestling. Names such as Carmelo Hayes, Trick Williams, Roxanne Perez, and Tiffany Stratton are growing well into the roles crafted for them in the brand. Each one of those individuals can be seen as a key part of the future of WWE’s product. And the list doesn’t stop there. Others like The Creed Brothers, Charlie Dempsey, Lash Legend, and Amari Miller have caught the attention of fans while showing promise for the future.

WWE’s hiring practices may have changed as they focus on the NIL program and less on signing the independent names hardcore fans know and love, but there’s been some positive to that if viewers look closely at the roster cultivated in 2.0.

The Bad

The initial change to NXT 2.0 saw some interesting choices around who was elevated and which names took a back seat. Individuals like Cameron Grimes, Kushida, Sarray, and Kay Lee Ray each had the talent and experience where they would have thrived in the original version of the show. But their status immediately changed when new decision-makers took over. Even young talent like Indi Hartwell, who were originally well-booked was suddenly shifted off the shows. The roster that NXT 2.0 inherited was full of talent and depth but that didn’t help the unfortunate booking that took place in its initial phases.

The Ugly

One of Black & Yellow NXT’s strongest attributes was the women’s division. This group once included top names like Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, Dakota Kai, Candice LeRae, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Kairi Sane, and who can forget The Four Horsewomen? It was easy to see that the roster was the best gathering of women’s wrestlers in the world. But with NXT 2.0, that changed and it changed in a way that even reflected the disgusting natures that led to McMahon’s and Laurinaitis’s downfalls.

The focus on women’s booking in NXT 2.0 immediately went away from wrestling and shifted to sex appeal. The placement of Toxic Attraction at the top of the card and their presentation is a clear representation of that point. Majority of the initial angles that featured women also included some type of love angle, drawing the assumption that the only way for them to get on television consistently was to be booked as such. It was a major backward step for how women in the biggest wrestling company in the world were booked and linked directly to the hiring practices that Laurinaitis embodied.

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NXT 2.0 has been with wrestling for a full year and the opinions about the product run strong. Some will love it simply because it says “WWE,” while others will hate it for that exact reason. Regardless of where one stands, there’s both good and bad that has come from the rebrand, and here’s too looking forward to the future as it solidifies itself in a stronger place.