In an interview with Lucha Libre Online, Daniel Bryan was asked to give his thoughts on whether NXT is ‘main roster’, as stated by Adam Cole on Twitter recently. He responded by saying he considers NXT to be the third brand for WWE, and that superstars can have a great career there without ever needing to move to the Raw or Smackdown rosters.
“I definitely don’t think NXT is considered a developmental territory anymore, which leaves the question; do we have a developmental territory? We need one to develop talent. If NXT is not our development, which it isn’t, those guys are awesome. I do consider NXT a third brand for our company. That begs the question, where are we going to develop our talent if it’s not NXT? The other interesting thing is you can have a great career and never come to the main roster. If you’re Johnny Gargano or Tommaso Ciampa and you want to stay in NXT and be Mr. NXT, you can do that.”
The former multi-time WWE Champion went on to say that there are still benefits to moving to the main roster, such as worldwide exposure and better pay, but that NXT offers something unique for WWE.
“The benefits of coming to the main roster are exposure worldwide, you get paid better. So, there are positives, but one of the cool things about NXT is, it’s different from Raw and SmackDown. That’s why they have their own unique fanbase. Sometimes the NXT fans may not be a fan of Raw or SmackDown. That diversity adds a lot to the WWE brand”
When WWE re-branded Florida Championship Wrestling as NXT back in 2012, it was still considered to be WWE’s developmental territory. However, over the last few years, it has come to be widely regarded as the third brand in WWE, comparable to both Raw and Smackdown. This became even more clear when, in September 2019, the weekly NXT TV show was increased to two hours and moved from the WWE Network to the USA Network in a competing timeslot to the newly launched AEW Dynamite. In that year’s Survivor Series event, the NXT roster also took part in the battles for brand supremacy, which until then had traditionally only featured superstars from Raw and Smackdown.
Credit to Fightful for the transcription.