On September 14th, the NXT rebrand to NXT 2.0 was unveiled to mixed reactions as the new aesthetics of the revamp pleased some fans while jarred others. Apart from the colourful and vibrant overhaul, one of the main changes seen on the programme was the many new faces who were featured.
During Nick Khan’s interview with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, he confirmed the changes were taking place in order for the brand to refocus on the developmental side for which NXT was initially designed to be.
We are doing a complete revamp on NXT, led by Triple H/Paul Levesque, who is really one of the architects of the original NXT.
We want our system to be an easy system where people who want to be superstars, they know how to get to us, and we can get to them.
In terms of an NXT rebrand, look for it in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to have a whole new look. It’s going to have a whole new feel, and we believe because a lot of the ‘Indie wrestlers’ if you will, have come through our system and are in our system with SmackDown and Raw now, we don’t want to just keep doing that same thing, we want to look elsewhere for great young talent.
That “young talent” mentioned by Khan were front and centre on NXT 2.0 as several new faces appeared in prominent positions throughout the show.
The first new face we saw was that of Bron Breakker. Breakker was introduced to the NXT 2.0 Universe and immediately made a huge impact. Not only was his multi-coloured singlet eye-catching but so was his likeness to a certain dog-faced gremlin. Breakker is the son of Rick Steiner and not only looks like him but wrestles like him also.
Bronson Rechsteiner is a former American football player who played for the Baltimore Ravens. After his release last year he made his professional wrestling debut for AWF/WOW’s WrestleJam 8 event and picked up the win using his uncle Scott’s finisher, The Steiner Recliner.
NXT 2.0 viewers got a chance to see what Breakker was all about when he challenged and defeated LA Knight in the first match of the revamp. It was not the only time we would see the impressive athlete as he confronted new NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa at the end of the show.
PWInsider reported that WWE has big things planned for the exciting newcomer.
“We have been told that you can expect a lot of excitement for the Bron Breakker in the coming weeks”
The Creed Brothers
The Creed Brothers known as the Kasper Brothers in real life have been seen on NXT previously but only in small roles. On the “new” NXT they were given a lot more focus and time to shine. The Creed Brother Brutus and Julius are two highly-accomplished amateur wrestlers with four NCAA All-American championship wins between them.
They were brought to WWE’s attention after being scouted by Gerald Brisco. The brother’s signed with WWE separately in 2019 and 2020 and reported to the Performance Center. They debuted for NXT in September as part of the Diamond Mine and made quick work of their first opponents.
Both have shown a lot of promise in the ring thus far and with Roderick Strong on hand to help them improve and Malcolm Bivens to help them on the mic, it seems as if NXT might just have two future Superstars on their hands
Another new addition to the NXT roster was Ivy Nile. Formerly known as Emily Andzulis she made her official NXT 2.0 debut on the new-look episode as she joined the new-look Diamond Mine stable. The impressive athlete was introduced by Malcolm Bivens, who championed her work ethic and determination before stated she hasn’t had a carb in 2005.
Known as the Pitbull, Andzulis is a Jiu-Jitsu and MMA trained fighter and competed in the Women’s Flyweight on January 6, 2018, for the Knoxville based promotion Valor Fights.
Andzulis earned national recognition and plaudits from her time on season one of NBC’s The Titan Games. The Dwayne The Rock Johnson hosted sports game show where participants compete in numerous obstacles based on Johnson’s personal workouts. Andzulis outlasted three other women to become the first female Titan Champion.
Before signing with WWE in January 2020 Andzuis trained at the Kane and Dr Tom Prichard’s JPWA Academy. Since becoming an NXT roster member she has competed in matches on live events and faced Shayna Baszler on the short-lived RAW Underground and was a part of the NXT Battle Royal in September 2020.
Another new face thrust into the spotlight was Von Wagner. Wagner surprisingly replaced Kyle O’Reilly in the Fatal Four Way main event for the NXT Championship.
Wagner, real name Cal Bloom is the son of Wayne Bloom who was one half the WWE tag team The Beverly Brothers. The second-generation talent signed for WWE in 2019. Since then he wrestled on numerous NXT house shows. The following year, he appeared on a SmackDown against Sheamus and Main Event against R-Truth. He also defeated Austin Theory in a SmackDown dark match earlier this year.
Now repackaged as Von Wagner it seems as though WWE has high hopes for the former college football player. According to reports from WrestleNews.co, Wagner has received a lot of good feedback from WWE management with one source telling the outlet:
“Vince sees him as a future WrestleMania main eventer. That should tell you everything about his future here.”T
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) September 15, 2021
The next era of NXT is upon us. Whilst it may take a while to get used to, there are some exciting talents that are the future of the brand.