Saturday 31 October 2015

Great Expectations By Paul Smiles

Opinions change, but facts are absolute. Looking at the success of NXT can be achieved easily by looking at the brand itself, It’s sell out show in Brooklyn and its successful transition into a brand on the road that allows it to reach all over in America and thankfully for wrestling fans over here the UK too in December. The way I like to judge its success is the effect it has on the main roster, After all its original nucleus and mission statement was to create the superstars of tomorrow and today.

In looking at the sheer numbers we can look to a few. 35 is the number of PPV's since The Shield debuted at Survivor Series 2012 in which an NXT alumni has appeared on the card. That’s every single one. Of those 16 times has featured an NXT guy in the main event and between all the talents that came up there has been 15 title wins, one Royal Rumble winner and a winner of the Money in The Bank brief case.  These are impressive figures, factor in Wrestle Mania 31 had one NXT guy or girl in every match bar one, the problem with the above success stories are that it does not happen every time.

 Has NXT set itself apart from the main shows so much now that we have enlarged our expectations of people moving up to the main roster? Of the 21 people that made the jump from NXT to WWE 10 have won gold in the WWE ranging from tag gold right up to the main prize of WWE title. Some have dominated the landscape most notably Shield guys, Wyatt's, Paige and Rusev. But not every addition to main roster is seen as a success by the fans. They want to see all NXT guys do well they have a connection to it, they have passion it’s the reason NXT works because of the connection, very similar to PWG and ROH fans which I’m sure Mr H borrowed from.

What this leads to is lofty expectations when guys debut or get called up they have this fierce loyalty to these guys and any misstep or misuse leads to outcries.  We need to start reevaluating what we consider a success.

For some it’s who they feud with, others count up wins and some look to gold as the measuring stick. However is someone who is on TV every week and on PPV's whether they win or lose as successful as someone with a belt? There are only so many titles within WWE and not everyone can hold them. Within the main ranks at the minute we have a large contingent of NXT people in all positions, Divas, Mid card, lower card and main event but we have them there and when this brand was reimagined by Triple H I can see this was the infiltration he would want, No not everyone will be a Seth Rollins but as the numbers earlier suggest almost half of the crew have had a title or two, we shouldn’t feel bad when others don’t, They are performing and get their time to shine. Not everything that works in Full Sail can work on the mass audience but if they have made it to the main roster even if they have went back to NXT and back up again, making it to the same dance as Lesnar, Cena, Taker, Orton is success regardless of where you are on the card and how many titles you have won.

The impact NXT has and will go on to have on the largest company in the world of wrestling is huge, the facts prove that but maybe we need to start changing our own opinions on what we measure success as.

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