As NXT seemingly barrels towards an ever increasingly uncertain future, Booker T has weighed in on how he would use the black and gold brand.
On August 6th, 12 NXT Superstars were released by WWE much to the surprise of many fans. The releases were just the latest in a long line of recent departures which has seen WWE trim their talent roster significantly.
After the latest exits, it was reported that there were “major changes” coming to NXT. Mike Johnson of PWInsider noted that the changes would include a new logo, new lighting, a focus on younger talents and a different format to the TV shows.
This was followed by a report from Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio where he noted that NXT would be focussing on “younger, bigger guys that could someday main event WrestleMania.”
Reflecting on the releases on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T said he felt that NXT was holding too much talent. Booker explained that if he was in control of the roster, everyone would have had two years on the brand to either succeed or get moved on.
“I was always one of those guys that felt like there was a lot of talent in NXT that, I don’t know,” Booker said. “I’m not saying they weren’t good workers or anything like that, but I just always wondered ‘man, why are there so many guys down there?’ So for me, I always thought the system, me personally, if it was my system, guys would have a two year limit as far as if I thought they were going to produce or not. If I was going to sign them that way, if I was going to do something with them, I would give them two years.
“But for me, when a guy walks into Reality of Wrestling, I know if I’m going to use him on the card in five minutes. I don’t know man. Let me tell you this here, there’s not going to be one guy in that system that’s been down there for six or seven years that’s going to make it to Smackdown or RAW, or to my main roster. That’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to harbour a bunch of guys just to pay them. I don’t see no end game in that. Having a lot of talent just harboured in one spot, that doesn’t work out for me.”
Expanding further, the former World Champion suggested that NXT should have been used purely to serve the main roster.
“I was reading an article today, the Rise and Fall of NXT,” Booker said. “And they were talking about ‘the war is over’, because the war was with NXT and AEW. Right now AEW is pulling much better numbers than NXT, so let’s just say, for keepsake, the war is over. Let’s just say that. I always felt NXT should’ve been a farm league for the stars in WWE. Smackdown stars, WWE RAW, because that’s where the money is. That’s where the endgame is. And to create something else, it’s just like creating another WCW. Something we’re gonna have to put in a whole lot of work in trying to make work.”
Booker explained that the huge differences between NXT and the main roster can be seen in the recent presentation of Karrion Kross. In closing, the WCW legend said that it appears that NXT is going back to basics and being developmental, which is what it should have always been.
“You look at NXT and you look at the main roster and it’s totally different games. When a guy comes from NXT to the main roster, it’s a totally different game. You look at Karrion Kross in NXT, you look at him on the main roster. So you cannot sustain something like that when you’re really focusing on this over here. So for me, it going back to being a farm league, I don’t know what they’re going to do with it, but to me, NXT being a farm league for the WWE I think is what it always should’ve been focused on. That’s just my opinion.”
Meanwhile, a new report has suggested that the upcoming changes to black and gold brand haven’t been too warmly received by the USA Network. The report reveals that those within the Network believe that the changes will have a negative impact.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.