Wrestling legend Jim Cornette has not held back on his thoughts of NXT 2.0 and says TV time on a major network might now be better served by WWE’s main roster.
NXT 2.0 launched in September as the relaunch of the once black and gold brand introduced a new generation of developmental stars to the watching audience.
Jim Cornette has been discussing the new NXT 2.0 show on his podcasts but on his Drive Thru podcast, it seems his patience has run out with the multi-coloured brand:
“Speaking of everyone looking, acting, talking, and dressing exactly the same, we’re not going to review NXT this week because it wasn’t worth it. I don’t know what they expect to get out of the program now, because if they are going to do that, why don’t they just do a developmental TV programme at the Performance Center and put it on TV in Orlando and Tampa.”
Cornette added that running some live events in the local area would help get the new crop of stars some experience but thinks national TV time could be better served by those on the main WWE roster:
“Run some spot shows around there to get the guys some experience, and take the national time on the USA and attempt to do something with it that might push their main roster talent, which needs all the help that it can possibly get.”
“Is this a productive endeavour to give a substandard TV show with talent that is so green they are phosphorescent in some cases? They put them on national TV before they are ready […] I’m not saying give up the money, if they went to the USA Network and changed the programme on Tuesday night and said ‘We’re not going to give you Grayson Waller, we will give you Drew McIntyre.’ Or anything. Do you think they’re going to say ‘Oh God no?’”
“I’m talking about bringing that block of TV time into the main roster fold in some way with guys that are on your main roster. Is there anyone on the main roster they are not utilising to their fullest? I’m sure there is. When OVW was running the developmental program, the attitude from the office was they didn’t want us to be on television except in our territory.”
Jim Cornette harkens back to the territory days to illustrate his point, saying some NXT stars with little experience might be tarnished before they have a chance to improve or gain more experience:
“[…] It does a disservice to a lot of the guys if they are seen before they are ready because people in their minds form an opinion of them. I’ve been watching wrestling fans, smart fans, and regular fans for almost 50 years in person. I remember what it was like when I was one. That’s why the territory system helped foster the growth of talent.”
“Whenever a guy would start out in a territory, you saw him when he was green and he couldn’t get his sh*t together because he was 19 years old. I saw Terry Gordy when he was 16 and he was the sh*ts. When you see the guys like that, you form an opinion on them. So the guys that started in a territory, until they left and went away, they never got over.”
“A lot of the times in a territory, the guy would get started wherever he broke in, and then he would be sent out and go somewhere else, come back a couple of years later bigger, or with different hair or a different gimmick. He had grown up in some way. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson never drew money in the Memphis territory where they started. They didn’t draw like The Fabulous Ones, because people had seen them since they started. But everywhere else they dwarfed the other teams.”
The former manager of The Midnight Express does see one bright light on NXT 2.0 in the form of Bron Breakker. But even for Breakker, Cornette believes that working somewhere out of the spotlight would have given him a chance to get even better before being showcased on TV:
“Bron Breakker is bulletproof, it’s all about the charisma. There have been guys with better bodies, and his is great. There’s guys that are better athletes, they have recruited from the NFL and all kinds of sports. There are guys who are better talkers, but nobody has that package, plus the genealogy and the bloodline and natural charisma. He’s ready to be seen now, but it would have been great if he worked somewhere a year and a half ago, and now how good is he going to be? And that’s the first time you see him.”
If you use any quotes from this article please credit original source and then h/t with a link back to Inside The Ropes.