Shawn Michaels believes that NXT talent get held to an unfair standard as the brand makes a shift to the new NXT 2.0.
In an interview with TV Insider, HBK was thrilled to talk about the recent NXT 2.0 WarGames show and said he is proud of what the talent accomplished, especially the young talent that he says got thrown “in the deep end.”
“I’m just excited about this new launch of NXT. I will say I think they get held to an unfair standard. Nobody likes change. I know that was very tough. I thought tonight was a fantastic show. I’m so thankful for our veterans who go out there and deliver consistently like they always do.
We have such faithful veterans that are out there and having to bring up an entirely new generation. We put a lot of our young guys in a really tough spot, we threw them in the deep end like we’ve been doing the last 10 weeks. They went out there and looked like they belonged.”
NXT 2.0’s shift to younger talent was highlighted in the main event of WarGames, pitting established veteran performers against up-and-coming Superstars. Bron Breakker scored the win for Team 2.0, pinning NXT Champion Tomasso Ciampa and proving superiority over Team Black & Gold.
Shawn Michaels is particularly proud of the younger talent and says they’re put in a position that no generation before them has faced.
“There has never been a generation that has been put in a position that these young men and women have. I was in the wrestling business 8 or 10 years before I had to go out there and do live TV.These guys have only been doing it for 10 weeks. That’s an amazing credit to their hard work and credit to them.
They also have the ‘it factor’ and are gifted men and women. The fact of them come to a sports background, they are goal-oriented, disciplined and focused… which has been a breath of fresh air. It’s great energy to be around.”
HBK is clear that while NXT 2.0 has more involvement from Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard, it is still very much its own production.
“I started out doing two hours a day, three days a week. Now I’m doing it about 23 hours a day, seven days a week. People out there thinking it’s all Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard type of production. They just are the ones who gave us the direction of what it is they wanted from NXT going into the future.
“It is still all the team Hunter [Triple H] put in place doing it here.”
Michaels has taken on more responsibility in running NXT 2.0 while Triple H recovers from a cardiac event and says it’s an honor to be able to step up for his friend.
“I love learning and growing in the different aspects of WWE, but I have a greater appreciation for everything he took on. I now understand how you can not return a text when you get it. I’ve never had so many emails, learning computer stuff. Things I swore I would never want to do. But have since learned to do that. It has been a blast. To be able to step in for my friend is my honor to do.”