AEW and NXT briefly took fans back to the days of the Monday Night Wars with their own Wednesday version as AEW Dynamite went head to head with NXT on USA. Now a former member of the black and gold brand says that AEW Dynamite was kept a close eye on in the locker room.
Killian Dain was a long-time member of the NXT brand before his release from the company on June 25th, 2021 as a result of continuing budget cuts in the company. The one-time Sanity member had most recently been aligned with perennial underdog Drake Maverick.
Speaking to Sportskeeda Wrestling, the Northern Irish star revealed that the NXT locker room regularly tuned into the competition on Wednesday nights.
“Like, so, I think people would love [for] me to say it was this rivalry or whatever else, but the truth is, you know when we were going head-to-head if they had a particularly good match, we’d wanted to watch; we’d watch! You know what I mean? We’d be backstage in the locker room; we’ll be like, ‘Oh, such and such, let’s see that.’ A lot of [them] are our friends, [as is] with a lot of the guys on the roster.”
“So yeah, sure, there is a rivalry so far as we wanted to do the best we could, we wanted to put on the best matches, and we felt that we had an incredible roster at NXT. There is not one person there, who has gone, ‘F them’ or anything like that because I shared locker rooms with maybe at least 50 percent of that roster. In fact, I’m probably underselling that; I’d say I’ve been at shows with about 75 percent of that roster; some of the guys I even trained with or people who have [been] trained by myself, you know, are on that roster.”
Dain added that for those in the locker room there was a feeling of ‘WWF vs. WCW’ from the late nineties but it was a professional rivalry at most:
“So for us, there was a professional rivalry so far as, nobody wants to lose or anything like that, but at the same time, we knew it was great for the industry. We knew it was exactly what it was as us growing up watching, when it was WWF and WCW, maybe on a smaller scale, but for a lot of us, in the NXT locker room, it was a good way; an added motivation is probably the best way to put it. Listen, there’s no denying, if there is a really cool match, and we’re not doing something on the show that day, we’d be watching, you know what I mean because there were some crackers at the time.”
Killian Dain was then asked if NXT head honcho and WWE EVP Triple H watched AEW Dynamite from week to week, Dain wasn’t sure but reckons The Game keeps up with the competition:
“Well, I’d hardly be sitting with Triple H; I’d be in the locker rooms (laughs). I don’t know, you’d have to ask him, but I’m sure maybe not at the time, maybe the next day he’d be watching to see whatever else. I’m sure there are a lot more technical answers that he could answer, I’m assuming so?”
Dain is married to current Raw star and almost superhero, Nikki A.S.H. She competed in eight women tag team action on what is now the lowest-rated Raw in the show’s illustrious history.