Former NXT star and Diamond Mine member Tyler Rust has discussed the reported changes coming imminently to NXT and if they have anything to do with the perception that the brand ‘lost’ the Wednesday Night Wars.
Rust only joined WWE in December 2020 and spent most of that time on NXT aligned with Malcolm Bivens. The two men were unveiled as part of the Diamond Mine group with Roderick Strong and Hachiman in June 2021 before Rust was a casualty of recent budget cuts and released from his WWE contract.
Speaking to The Wrestling Inc. Daily’s Nick Hausman, Tyler Rust first discussed his thoughts on NXT’s competition on Wednesday nights – AEW:
“I think they’re doing amazing stuff. I think wrestling needs competition to WWE in the states because competition breeds improvement. Even if they don’t want to say they don’t view them as competition, they still have to make sure they’re ahead of them. It’s up to them to make sure that they’re not falling behind, and that’s going to make them be better and that’s what’s also going to make AEW push to be more every time.”
“They just started their second show last Friday night, and things like that are going to just make the wrestling world in general, for everybody involved, even if they’re not in the two companies, have more opportunities because it’s just gonna keep this boom going. I think AEW’s doing a fantastic thing, and I hope for nothing but them to grow and give more job offers to people in this industry that are really deserving it because it’s amazing seeing your buddies out there making money.”
Rust then gave his thoughts on the reported changes set to happen to NXT in the coming weeks. New sets and logos have been mentioned as well as a complete change in ethos to how the brand will be presented and recruited with a return to taped shows instead of live also a possibility.
For Tyler Rust, any notion that these changes are anything to do with the perception that NXT lost the short-lived Wednesday Night Wars to their rivals is just speculation:
“Honestly, I would think they’re just speculation, personally, because the vibe around NXT has always been very good. It’s always been very controlled. When we did move to Tuesday, for example, it was made very clear that, hey, this is a total network thing. This doesn’t have anything to do with the Wednesday night deal. This is just a deal with USA. They want to move us over. They wanted to promote hockey more on a Wednesday night is what it was, and I love hockey, so I was all about it.”
“I’m like, hey, let’s promote the NHL. Everybody really needs to watch more NHL. Personally, I’m all down for it. I know there’s a lot of rumors now as far as Vince wanting to overhaul the NXT product and everything. Sometimes, rumors, maybe they’re right. We’ll see how it is going forward from there, but from my experience there, there weren’t really many eggshells as far as upper management not being happy.”
“Everything they saw whenever they came to the Performance Center and they saw us training, they absolutely loved it. I remember hearing exact words that were always like, ‘This is amazing. This is everything that we want to invest in,’ how much they were proud of all the hard work we were doing there at the Performance Center, and they see the way we train, the way that we work. They see how hard we really, really work on this product, and it was always such positive feedback from everybody upstairs, honestly.”
The Wednesday Night Wars ended after WrestleMania 37 in the spring of 2021 when NXT moved to Tuesday nights leaving AEW Dynamite unopposed by wrestling on Wednesdays.