Speaking during a recent interview, Kurt Angle offered his thoughts on the changes coming to NXT, and specifically WWE’s hiring philosophy.
After WWE released a raft of NXT Superstars on August 6th it emerged that big changes were coming to the black and gold brand. The show’s new logo has already been revealed along with a new theme song, with WWE confirming that the “New NXT” will launch on September 14th.
Another proposed change to the brand alongside a new set, is how they will go about hiring new talent. The new plan, it was suggested, was for NXT to hire bigger, younger athletes, and “no more midgets.” This includes a move away from hiring wrestlers from the independent scene as they have done in the past.
Appearing on the The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Angle said that he would “tread lightly” when it comes to changes regarding hiring philosophy. The Hall of Famer cited the amount of character development that takes place on the independent circuit as a potential positive.
“I would tread very lightly on that because there are a lot of incredible independent wrestlers,” Angle noted. “Wrestlers that never did any real sport but they’re very good at their craft, and I would like to see the percentage. Fortunately, for me, I was a real athlete and won a gold medal at the Olympics. These kids that are trained to be pro wrestlers and working at the independent shows, they’re doing a lot of the work and they’re crafting their skills and their character. I don’t know how much character development occurs down at NXT, but I think a lot of character development occurs in independent shows.”
Another athlete who made the switch to professional wrestling later in their career is Riddle. The former MMA star is currently enjoying his most successful run to date as one half of the RAW Tag Team Champions.
After retiring from in-ring competition, Angle had the chance to manage Riddle but ended up turning it down. Angle went on to praise Riddle, saying how effective his team with Orton is.
“He’s doing extremely well, but he came in with a character, the ‘Bro’ thing. It works so well, and they put him in the right place,” Angle said. “They teamed him up with Randy Orton. Randy is more of a miserable guy that doesn’t get along with anybody, and here’s this kid that kind of makes Randy like him. Which, Randy never likes anybody. His character anyway, but he rubbed off on him, and it’s a great story. And those are the kinds of things that Gable Stevenson is going to need to have, along with his ability.”
Speaking to the media ahead of SummerSlam, Triple H addressed reports of NXT’s change in philosophy. The Hall of Famer said that nothing had changed, adding that the company are still looking for future WrestleMania main event level stars.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.